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TNT breaks away late to beat Mahindra, snaps two-game skid

By Patrick Sutare

PASAY--TNT used a huge fourth quarter assault to pull away and frustrate Mahindra, 104-92, snapping their two-game losing skid on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome in the PBA Philippine Cup.

With an upset ax threatening their way, the KaTropa counted on its designated shooters in the payoff period to ward off an extended fiasco in the homestretch of the conference.

Larry Fonacier and Ryan Reyes knocked down three booming triples midway the fourth to pull TNT away from a dangerous single-point advantage 87-86 to go all the way to 10, 96-86, reaching the dying minutes of the game before the rest of the troop capped off the bounce back win.

Rookie Roger Pogoy was hailed the MVP of the game after scoring 16 points on top of four assists and two boards. Second-year forward Troy Rosario had a solid outing as well, pouring in 18 markers and nine boards.

Gaining confidence from their two-game winning streak, the Floodbuster looked poised to score a stunner over their counterparts, carrying the upperhand heading to the halftime break, 57-51.

But a 9-2 blast from the KaTropa to start the second half changed the complexion of the game as their composure went on full display to deal the then streaking Floodbuster a bit of a taste of reality.

The win forges TNT on a tie with Blackwater in the fourth spot of the win-loss ladder, carrying a 5-4 card.

Mahindra’s loss meanwhile puts their tourney campaign in peril, falling to 2-6 tied with NLEX at 10th place.

Box Scores:

TNT 104-Rosario 18, Pogoy 16, Tautuaa 14, Rosales 11, Fonacier 11, Castro 10, Reyes 7, Rosser 7, De Ocampo 7, Golla 2, Carey 1, Williams 0

Mahindra 92-Mallari 19, Paniamogan 10, Yee 10, Revilla 8, Deutchman 7, Celda 7, Escoto 6, Salva 6, Arana 6, Galanza 5, Ballesteros 3, Elorde 3, Eriobu 2, Digregorio 0

Quarterscores: 29-25, 51-57, 82-78, 104-92