TNT relied on a solid fourth-quarter defensive effort to plaster Blackwater, 109-89 and remain unbeaten in the PBA Governors Cup on a rainy Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Katropa broke away from a tight contest after dropping a murderous 27-7 bomb to put the game beyond doubt, 105-85, entering the final 2 minutes.
Coach Jong Uichico’s squad improved to a tournament-best 5-0 to remain unbeaten in the 12-team field this conference.
“Medyo rusty at the start, we’re trying to feel out (new import) Mychal (Ammons). Of course, we weren’t able to really play scrimmage game with him,” Uichico said after the game.
“He was also trying to feel us out that’s why we were struggling at the start.”
Ammons, who joined the team a week ago to replace the injured American reinforcement Mario Little, served as one of the catalysts in TNT’s explosive fourth-quarter rampage.
Ammons, coming off a stint in Mexico, finished the game with 18 points and the same number of rebounds, to go along with 2 blocks.
Ranidel de Ocampo led TNT with 20 points and 6 rebounds, while rookie big man Troy Rosario aded 16 and 13 rebounds.
Jayson Castro, who had to attend to some family matter prior to the game, managed to play in the second half, finishing with 7 points and 5 assists.
Hastening Blackwater’s eventual downfall was the absence of starting slotman John Paul Erram, who went down with a knee injury midway in the second period.
The 6-foot-8 Erram had an awkward landing after colliding with De Ocampo, while going hard for a layup.
He was eventually brought to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City for further tests.
Reil Cervantes led the skidding Elite (1-4) with 22 points, while American import Eric Dawson chipped in 12 and 10 boards. – John Bryan Ulanday
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