TNT scores masterful win over NLEX to stay alive
Paul Lintag on Feb 28, 2018 06:27 PM
TNT will finish the elimination round with a 5-6 record and will now wait their final fate. At best, the KaTropa will compete for a playoff with the 8th and final seed on the line.
All TNT did was to make sure they're not eliminated outright.
The KaTropa took care of business Wednesday at the MOA Arena, scoring a masterful 101-75 victory over NLEX in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.
TNT will finish the elimination round with a 5-6 record and will now wait their final fate. As of right now, the KaTropa are looking at a playoff for the 8th and final seed.
"We've been struggling offensively this conference and that's no secret. I think the two-week break really helped us," head coach Nash Racela said as the KaTropa snapped a three-game slide.
"Today, at least offensively we looked better than in our previous games. We needed a win for us to give ourselves a chance in the playoffs, and the only thing we can control is this game," he added.
TNT is already tied with Blackwater with identical 5-6 marks and there will be a playoff for 8th in case of a tie.
However, things can get pretty complicated with the quotient system if more than two teams end up with the same record. As of press time, five teams could still end up with 5-6 records.
With their conference on the line, the KaTropa jumped on the Road Warriors early, taking a quick 11-point lead in the opening period.
TNT blew things wide open in the second quarter, unloading an 11-0 run for a 42-20 lead. The KaTropa led by as many as 36 points in the second half, 69-31.
Jericho Cruz, acquired in a trade from Rain or Shine, led TNT in scoring in his first game with the team, going for 17 points in a starting role. Kelly Williams also had 17 to go along with 16 rebounds.
Troy Rosario added 14 in his first game back for TNT following an injury.
As for the Road Warriors, they finish with a 6-5 mark but their four-game run will be snapped entering the playoffs.
JR Quinahan fired 20 points for NLEX and Kevin Alas added 14 for the Road Warriors.
TNT (101): Williams 17, Cruz 17, Rosario 14, Pogoy 13, Castro 10, Tamsi 7, Garcia 6, Paredes 5, Semerad 3, Reyes 3, Carey 2, Torres 2, Tautuaa 2, Golla 0, Nuyles 0
NLEX (75): Quinahan 20, Alas 14, Al-Hussaini 10, Mallari 5, Monfort 5, Miranda 5, Soyud 4, Tiongson 3, Ighalo 3, Fonacier 3, Taulava 2, Ravena 1, Uyloan 0, Baguio 0
Quarter scores: 27-16, 58-28, 80-50, 101-75
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