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TNT rallies in Q4 to stop NorthPort

Marqus Blakely goes all the way for the throwdown. PBA Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--TNT scored a huge fourth quarter blast to turn back NorthPort, 104-102, in the PBA Governors' Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Sunday night.

The KaTropa recovered from the Batang Pier's hot first half and completed the comeback with a Marqus Blakely layup with 6.8 seconds left.

Blakely then picked Mo Tautuaa's pass for the game-saving swipe.

Blakely finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block, while Terrence Romeo led TNT, which outscored NorthPort, 33-15, in the final 12 minutes, with 25 points, two rebounds, eight assists, and three steals.

Tautuaa (18 points and 14 rebounds), Rashad Woods (19 points and 11 rebounds), and Stanley Pringle (18 points and 12 rebounds) each tallied double-doubles for the Batang Pier. Pringle even flirted with a triple-double after dishing nine assists.

However, they once again blew a huge lead, letting a 23-point advantage go away, although they came close to forcing overtime after Paolo Taha soared high for the tip-in on Sean Anthony's missed free throw only to let Blakely soar for his game-winning lay-in.

The KaTropa have now won two straight games under new coach Bong Ravena--three straight counting the one game with Eric Gonzales at the helm--to climb to the .500 mark at 4-4.

On the other hand, the Batang Pier stay winless after six tries.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno