MANILA, Philippines – TNT KaTropa erased a 19-point deficit and outgunned the Meralco Bolts, 116-113, to keep their unbeaten streak alive in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup on Saturday, October 12 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Import KJ McDaniels propelled TNT's huge fightback with his monster double-double of 51 points and 10 rebounds, while RR Pogoy had his moments during the crucial stretch of the match and tallied 23 points and 7 boards.
Locals Jayson Castro and Troy Rosario also made an impact in the offensive end and chipped in 21 and 12 markers, respectively.
Meralco scorched hot early as Raymond Almazan's basket capped their 12-0 start while Chris Newsome hit a jumper to extend their lead to 19, 32-13 before the 1st quarter ended.
McDaniels came alive and fueled TNT's 33-point outburst in the 2nd period, but the KaTropa still failed to breach the Bolts' slim barrier as they head to the second half trailing, 52-49.
The KaTropa finally turned things around in the 3rd frame, all thanks to the streaking McDaniels, who highlighted the TNT spurt with a basket from beyond the arc that gave them a 74-72 lead.
Allen Durham, though, responded and cooled down TNT's resurgent form before Nico Salva drilled a long bomb that put Meralco back up, 87-84.
But Pogoy found his groove in the 4th period and unleashed a triple that gave the KaTropa a breather as their lead grew to 8 points, 111-103, with 3:36 remaining in the clock.
The rallying Bolts had a chance to force overtime after Durham made a basket with 9.1 seconds left that put them within one possession, but the Meralco import later missed a potential game-tying three.
Durham did a bit of everything for the Bolts to finish with similarly staggering numbers of 43 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists, while Newsome added 14 points.
Baser Amer unloaded 11 in the opening quarter, but went cold and settled with 13 points while Almazan collected 10 markers for Meralco, which tied Magnolia and Columbian at 3-2.
TNT 116 – McDaniels 51, Pogoy 23, Castro 21, Rosario 12, Trollano 6, Vosotros 3, De Leon 0, Washington 0, Taha 0, Carey 0, Reyes 0, Heruela 0.
Meralco 113 – Durham 43, Newsome 14, Amer 13, Almazan 10, Pinto 9, Canaleta 9, Quinto 7, Hugnatan 4, Salva 3, Faundo 1, Caram 0.
Quarters: 16-32, 49-52, 84-87, 116-113.