TNT rallies in fourth to repulse Blackwater in battle of retooled squads

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—TNT fought back from 12 points down to stun Blackwater, 92-89, in their PBA Commissioner's Cup clash at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday night.

With new signing Donte Greene struggling, RR Pogoy took over as the KaTropa outscored the Elite, 27-12, in the dying moments to overturn the outcome.

TNT trailed Blackwater, 63-75, early in the fourth, and the latter appeared to be holding on.

But Pogoy scored seven straight points to lead the fightback to eventually tie the game, 83-all, with less than five minutes left.

The Elite would reclaim the lead with a four-peat swing, but the KaTropa answered with a 9-0 run capped by a booming triple from Larry Fonacier, to go up, 92-87.

Greg Smith kept Blackwater in it with two charities to cut the lead to three.

The team had a chance to force overtime as the quintet forced huge stops on TNT, but KG Canaleta missed a triple at the final horn that eventually sealed its collapse.

Pogoy finished with 24 points, making all of his nine shots inside the arc, with four rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

Greene, on the other hand, only made 9-of-28 from the field but still put up 22 markers with 13 rebounds, one assist, one block, and two steals in his PBA debut.

Greg Smith led Blackwater with 22 points, 31 rebounds, three assists, and one steal in a game where Mac Belo had to sit out due to an injury.

The botched buzzer-beater try capped a sloppy Blackwater debut for Canaleta, acquired from GlobalPort in a trade on Wednesday, making only six markers on 2-of-15 shooting.

Mark Cruz also had a quiet output in his first game with the Elite, making only seven points in 15 minutes of play.

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