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TNT continues Alaska's heartbreaks with late comeback

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Just when everyone thought Alaska will finally walk away from an 11-game losing streak that dates back to the PBA Commissioner's Cup, TNT turned the tides in the final 12 minutes.

The KaTropa rallied in the fourth quarter to deal the Aces their 12th straight defeat, 107-106, in the season-ending Governors' Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Friday night.

Alaska blew a late seven-point cushion as TNT quickly bounced back from a loss to rival San Miguel two nights back.

The Aces actually led by as much as 13, 95-82, with seven minutes left and held a 99-92 advantage with 3:46 to go.

But Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy joined forces for a 7-0 KaTropa that tied the game, 99-all, with 2:21 left.

LaDontae Henton scored to put Alaska up again, 101-99, with 2:03 to go, but Pogoy answered with a three-pointer that gave TNT a 102-101 lead with 1:38 remaining.

Henton worked his way again to score a putback that gave the lead again to the Aces, 103-102, with 1:32 left, but Ranidel De Ocampo joined the KaTropa's clutch brigade and took the two points back for a 104-103 edge with 1:12 remaining.

Henton looked to lift Alaska again, but he was called for a traveling violation and Castro buried a pull-up triple with 45 seconds left for a 107-103 TNT cushion.

Henton bounced back from the turnover and canceled Castro's trey with his own long tom to bring the Aces to within one again, 106-107, with 35 seconds to go.

Alaska found a golden opportunity to win the game as Kelly William misfired a field goal with 11 seconds on the clock, but Henton failed to convert a layup even as Jvee Casio failed to attempt the follow-up in time.

Michael Craig led TNT with 28 points, 19 rebounds, and four assists, while Pogoy chipped in 25 points, one rebound, one assist, and three blocks.

Castro had his own double-double of 23 points and 10 assists and even flirted with a triple-double after grabbing nine rebounds with two steals.

Henton's 42-point, 22-rebound, four-block, and one-steal performance went down the drain as Alaska is now 0-4 in the Governors' Cup.

Box Scores:

TNT 107-Craig 28, Pogoy 25, Castro 23, Rosario 15, De Ocampo 7, Williams 4, Garcia 3, Tautuaa 2, Carey 0, Hernandez 0, Semerad 0

Alaska 106-Henton 42, Abueva 19, Manuel 13, Banchero 12, Casio 6, Baclao 4, Enciso 4, Magat 2, Hontiveros 2, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0

Quarterscores: 17-20, 38-47, 71-80, 107-106

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno