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Import-less KaTropa bounces back, zaps Bolts

Terrence Romeo played like an import with a near triple-double in TNT's win over Meralco. PBA Media Bureau

By Ricky Manliguis

ANTIPOLO—TNT managed to outlast a stubborn Meralco squad down the stretch for a 92-90 squeaker in the main game of the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday night at the Ynares Center.

Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy fired key baskets in the clutch as the KaTropa bounced back from an opening-day loss to NLEX despite playing without import Mike Glover.

Glover got the boot from the management after an anemic 11-point, 15-rebound outing against the Road Warriors.

This is the second time this season that TNT managed to win despite sending its import packing. It last played all-Filipino last Commissioner’s Cup against the Blackwater Elite.

Down 82-85, Castro fired a triple that knotted the count at 85 with 1:42 left to play. Pogoy then scored on a teardrop for 87-85, 57 ticks remaining.

Castro then attracted the Meralco defense before setting up Romeo for a cold-blooded three from the corner for a five-point cushion, 90-85, 18.2 ticks left.

Romeo flirted with a triple-double as he scored 23 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds while Pogoy followed suit with 19 five boards and two steals.

Castro had 16 points, six assists, five rebounds, and two interceptions for TNT.

"The locals went to play today. That's the expectations. We made a lot of good decisions on both ends," said TNT coach Nash Racela on the victory.

Racela also applauded the defensive effort of his wards, especially on crashing the boards in the crucial moments of the game.

“Durham was really imposing himself in the fourth quarter and getting a lot off offensive rebounds so during the timeout what we talked about was end every defensive possession with a rebound,” said Racela. “And I think we did that in the last two possessions.”

Durham finished with another double-double effort with 27 points and 23 rebounds for Meralco (1-1), which also got 18 markers from Baser Amer and 10 from Chris Newsome.

The scores:

TNT 92— Romeo 23, Pogoy 19, Castro 16, Rosario 13, Williams 7, Garcia 7, Semerad 3, Golla 2, Tamsi 2, Carey 0, Paredes 0.

Meralco 90 - Durham 27, Amer 18, Newsome 10, Hodge 9, Canaleta 9, Tolomia 8, Caram 6, De Ocampo 2, Hugnatan 1, Salva 0, Sedurifa 0, Lanete, 0.

Quarterscores: 23-23, 43-41, 68-61, 92-90.

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