TALK ‘N Text subdued Columbian Dyip, 101-98, to keep its bid for a Top Two slot alive in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The KaTropa dominated the Dyip all game-long but still needed one good defensive gem inside the last 18 seconds to foil the Dyip’s bid to equalize the score in a game that turned close near the end.
TNT looked safely ahead at 101-93 entering the last 2:50 minutes, but found Columbian breathing down on its neck at 101-98 following a five-point cluster built around JP Calvo’s two free throws off Harvey Carey and a Rashawn McCarthy’s triple.
That sent TNT immediately suing for time. Following the inbound though, TNT failed to connect as Jayson Castro muffed a three-point shot, the rebound going to Columbian which opted to sue for time too in the last 18 seconds.
The Dyip however failed to score, with McCarthy missing a forced three-point shot amid a broken play caused by TNT’s tough defensive stance.
The KaTropa thus escaped with their seventh win in 10 outings, bolstering their chances to clinch the other top two slot, while sending the Dyip reeling to their seventh loss against four wins in the elimination.
TNT enjoyed what looked like a safe 80-67 lead at the end of the third, but the Dyip waged a whale of fight to come within 94-91, on Jackson Corpuz’s basket with 4:40 remaining. The KaTropa then unloaded a 7-2 tear to make it 101-93, with 2:50 remaining, only to find the Dyip threatening them again at 101-98.
Earlier, the KaTropa outscored the Dyip at the onset of the ensuing second period, 17-5, to open up a 37-24 lead. Ryan Reyes and Troy Rosario had a triple each while Jayson Castro added eight points in that scoring run spanning about six minutes.
The KaTropa sustained that momentum and rode on Yousef Taha, Castro, RR Pogoy and Bryan Heruela for the needed fire as TNT closed out the first half with a 47-37 lead.
Barangay Ginebra, meanwhile, tries to press not just playoff bid but also a shot for top two finish as it takes on NLEX in a lone Petron Blaze Saturday Special at Angeles City.
With Phoenix Fuel already the top seed on 9-2 record, the other top two slot would belong to either the Gin Kings, the KaTropa or the Elasto Painters. For the Gin Kings, their only hope is for them to figure in a three-way tie which can only happen if they and the KaTropa both sweep their last outings.
TNT (101) - Castro 20, Reyes 19, Rosario 19, Pogoy 14, Williams 12, Heruela 8, Taha 4, Carey 2, Semerad 2, Washington 1, Cruz 0, Trollano 0, Miranda 0.
Columbian (98) - Perez 22, McCarthy 17, Camson 14, Corpuz 13, Calvo 13, Khobuntin 11, Faundo 4, Reyes 3, Celda 2, Cabrera 0, Escoto 0, Cahilig 0.
Quarterscores: 20-19, 47-37, 80-67, 101-98.