Debuting import Craig has triple-double for TNT’s strong start in Gov’s Cup
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 28, 2017 06:56 PM
HUNGRIER THAN EVER.
Felled in the final stage in the previous conference, TNT wants nothing more than a better finish now in the 2017 PBA Governor’s Cup.
So far, so good for the KaTropa as they proved to be too much for still winless Kia, 106-96, on Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
American reinforcement Michael Craig left quite the first impression with a triple-double of 21 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.
Troy Rosario served as his partner-in-crime and also posted an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double of his own in a rousing debut for Nash Racela’s wards in the conference.
However, it was bench player Levi Hernandez’ sudden outburst that broke the game wide open for TNT. Trailing by four early in the second quarter, Craig and Rosario connived to spearhead a 19-5 surge that sent their team agead, 51-41.
The last eight points in that run came from Hernandez who drilled a triple, a layup, and another triple that proved to demoralize their opponents.
The KaTropa increased their lead to as much as 17 in the third period before the Picanto pushed back and pulled to within five, 91-96, inside the last four minutes.
Mo Tautuaa and Jayson Castro were right there for the counter, however
Castro also added 16 points, four assists, and four rebounds to help the runners-up from the previous conference get off to a good start in their new campaign.
Earlier in the month, the KaTropa fell in six games to eventual Commissioner’s Cup champion San Miguel.
Markeith Cummings paced Kia with 27 points and seven rebounds..
The import had not much help, however, to see his team lose for the third time in as many games.
TNT 106 - Craig 21, Rosario 18, Castro 16, Williams 11, Hernandez 8, Pogoy 8, Semerad 7, Tautuaa 7, De Ocampo 6, Carey 4, Garcia 0, Seigle 0, Tamsi 0.
KIA 96 - Cummings 27, Celda 14, Revilla 8, Salva 8, Paniamogan 8, Corpuz 5, Elorde 5, Khobuntin 4, Galanza 4, Camson 4, Jaime 3, Nimes 3, Deutchman 3, Yee 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 25-21, 53-44, 79-71, 106-96.