Resurgent TNT hands Phoenix sixth straight loss

Glen Rice Jr and TNT send Phoenix reeling.
By Patrick Sutare

QUEZON CITY -- TNT got restacked and geared up its resurgence to bounce back and upend Phoenix, 110-103, on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, crossing out its third win in the PBA Governors' Cup.

With some of the key players back, the KaTropa got enough lift to avenge their 32-point blowout loss to Rain or Shine on Sunday and improve to over .500 anew with three wins against two losses, in the process adding misery to the skidding Fuel Masters who have now lost six in a row.

"This team has been known to bounce back, and today we did," coach Nash Racela said.

Phoenix stayed in pace with TNT in the first half, even bringing the lead at the break, 49-46, where Brandon Brown scattered 24 points built on a blazing start.

The do-it-all import continued to run riot of TNT's defense in the third quarter where he hoisted 16 more points and finished the period with 40 listed in his name.

That, however, was cancelled out as his counterpart Glen Rice got going in the same frame and torched the red shirts with 20 points as the KaTropa took a 85-79 lead into the payoff period.

"We went to this game with the hope of Glen playing a lot better, and today he did, plus the addition of our Gilas players," Racela added.

The 6'5 fresh recruit bucked a disastrous start to finish with 38 points, nine boards and five assists, having himself his own bounce back game after a forgettable debut in the game prior.

Returning players Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy were pivotal in the hard-earned victory as well for TNT.

The rapid-fire guard, who did not see action until the 8:05 mark of the third period, preserved his aces in the second half to tally 11 points and three boards in just 18 minutes. Pogoy, meanwhile, wound up 13 points none bigger than a basket off a great back door cut with 1:46 remaining which gave the KaTropa a 107-101 cushion.

Kelly Williams provided decent output with 18 points while Ranidel de Ocampo chipped in 14.

Brown finished with 49 points, 19 rebounds, five assists, five steals, four blocks in almost 48 minutes of play as the Fuel Masters fall to a 2-6 record.

Matthew Wright had 11 in his return while Joseph Eriobu and JC Intal reached double figures as well with 12 and 10, respectively in a losing cause.

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