Pogoy clutch again as TNT survives Rain or Shine

Paul Lintag on May 28, 2017 07:17 PM
Pogoy clutch again as TNT survives Rain or Shine
Tied at 101-all, Pogoy buried a long two off a broken play to give TNT the lead with 26.8 seconds to go.

Antipolo City, Rizal --- Is there any rookie more clutch than RR Pogoy?

Is there any player in the PBA more clutch than RR Pogoy?

The former FEU Tamaraw once again proved his worth in the pros, giving TNT enough separation as the KaTropa survived defending champion Rain or Shine, 105-102, Sunday in the 2017 Commissioner's Cup at the Ynares Center here.

Tied at 101-all, Pogoy buried a long two off a broken play to give TNT the lead with 26.8 seconds to go. That was enough of a cushion for the KaTropa as the flagship MVP franchise ended up walking away with a three-point win following another two free throws from Ranidel De Ocampo.

TNT wrapped up the elimination round with an 8-3 mark and will wait if that's good enough for a top-2 finish. Rain or Shine meanwhile stayed at 6th with a 5-6 record but the Elasto Painters will fall to at least seventh if Alaska wins its last game.

Leading by as many as 16 points, it appeared that TNT wouldn't need the clutchness of Pogoy as well as De Ocampo and import Joshua Smith for that matter.

With the Elasto Painters in the middle of a furious rally, TNT relied to their towering frontline as Smith and De Ocampo combined for 18 points in the fourth, keeping the KaTropa afloat and setting up Pogoy's late-game heroics.

"Ine-expect ko naman [tough outing] especially since ROS needs the win for them to have a really good placing in the quarterfinals," head coach Nash Racela said.

"But I think we've been in the PBA for so long na at this point, we already know that no lead is safe," he added.

Playing his second game for the KaTropa, Smith led the TNT offense with 23 points and 12 rebounds while De Ocampo added 21.

Troy Rosario added 11 points while Pogoy fired 10, with his go-ahead basket being his only conversion in the fourth period.

For Rain or Shine, James Yap led the way with 23 points but came up a little bit short in the clutch.

After tying things up at 101-all with a completed and-one play, the former two-time league MVP went on to miss three out of four free throws and a pair of layups for the Elasto Painters in the end game.

Jeff Chan added 18 for the champs while import Duke Crews, ejected in the third quarter for a flagrant foul penalty one and a technical, managed nine points and 17 rebounds.


The scores: 

TNT 105 - Smith 23, De Ocampo 21, Rosario 11, Reyes 10, Pogoy 10, Tautuaa 9, Garcia 9, Rosales 5, Castro 3, Williams 3, Semerad 1, Carey 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 102 - Yap 23, Chan 18, Belga 13, Cruz 9, Crews 9, Ponferada 6, Trollano 6, Almazan 6, Washington 5, Tolomia 4, Ahanmisi 3, Norwood 0, Robles 0. 

22-16, 51-39, 78-71, 105-102.



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