TNT KaTropa 104 – NorthPort Batang Pier 102
The TNT KaTropa suddenly look unstoppable. After starting off at 1-4, they have now won three straight games to get to .500. Not even a 23-point deficit could keep the KaTropa from getting their fourth win of the conference. TNT pulled off a last-gasp comeback run to stun the NorthPort Batang Pier. Marqus Blakely had 23 points and 11 rebounds. Terrence Romeo led the team with 25 points and eight assists.
The Batang Pier were in complete control early in the game. Rashad Woods and Stanley Pringle teamed up to go on a 10-2 run in the first quarter to give NorthPort a double-digit lead. The Batang Pier continued to roll in the second quarter. The other locals got into the act as Nico Javelona, Sean Anthony, and Mo Tautuaa poured in the points in a 13-0 run. The Batang Pier held the KaTropa scoreless for more than four minutes in the second quarter as they built a lead as big as 23 points.
NorthPort held on to that big lead for most of the second half. They took a 16-point lead heading into the fourth quarter and even held an 18-point lead with a little less than nine minutes left in the game. That’s when the KaTropa woke up and made their run.
Blakely, Romeo and RR Pogoy teamed up to go on a quick 7-0 run before a free throw by Woods broke the Batang Pier dry spell. Blakely then scored six straight points to cut the lead down to single digits. Romeo capped off the 19-1 blast with back-to-back treys to tie the game at 96. The game stayed close until the final seconds. With the score tied at 102, Blakely took the ball straight to the hole and scored over two defenders. That proved to be the game-winner to cap the TNT comeback.
Magnolia Hotshots 109 – San Miguel Beermen 108
The Magnolia Hotshots needed a cold-blooded shot from Paul Lee to get past the San Miguel Beermen. The Hotshots win their fourth game to rise up in the standings to the second spot. The Beermen fall to 2-3. Lee scored 28 points to lead Magnolia. Romeo Travis added 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Magnolia was down by four points heading into the final two minutes of the game. Needing big baskets, they leaned on their back court to deliver. The Hotshots got the ball to Romeo Travis inside. The import kicked the ball out to Justin Melton on the left wing for a three-pointer to cut the lead down to just one. The Hotshots got the stop and got the game-winner from Lee.
With 37 seconds left, the Hotshots pushed the ball and found Lee on the right corner. The Beermen defense was imbalanced and Lee took that opening to attack. He drove baseline and nailed a leaning jumper over Christian Standhardinger to give the Hotshots a one-point lead. Magnolia played stout defense in San Miguel’s final possessions. They forced back-to-back misses from Kelly Nabong and Standhardinger. Ian Sangalang blocked Alex Cabagnot’s last-second attempt to seal the win.
Photos from PBA.ph