KaTropa survive gritty B-Pier
TNT import KJ McDaniels beats NorthPort’s Kevin Ferrer in a scramble for the ball on the floor.
Jun Mendoza
KaTropa survive gritty B-Pier
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - October 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Troy Rosario and KJ McDaniels played clutch as TNT KaTropa survived a tough test from NorthPort, rallying to a hard-earned 103-100 verdict to keep their streak going in the PBA Governors’ Cup last night at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Facing their most difficult challenge to date, the KaTropa needed big buckets from Rosario and McDaniels to overturn a nine-point deficit in the fourth then outrun the Batang Pier in a spirited race to the finish line en route to their fifth straight victory.

Rosario fired 17 of his 22 in the payoff period, punctuating his heroics with a booming trey that gave the KaTropa the go-ahead at 101-100 with 1:06 left and the insurance charities with one second to go.

McDaniels topscored with 30 markers, sparking the KaTropa’s endgame  fightback with back-to-back slam dunks, while grabbing 18 rebounds and feeding five assists.

Later, RR Garcia hit the marginal basket as Phoenix Pulse snapped a slide via an 86-84 thriller over Rain or Shine.

Garcia made good on a perfect feed from Eugene Phelps in the last one second to help the Fuel Masters get back on track at 2-4 while sending the E-Painters to 1-4.

“Another tough game for us. There was a little improvement from our defense compared to last time, especially in the latter part of the game. We still have to continue working hard on defense,” said TNT coach Bong Ravena, whose wards blew a 13-point cushion and fell behind after a searing third-quarter assault by NorthPort.

With McDaniels and Rosario as spearheads, the KaTropa chipped away at NorthPort’s 82-73 spread in the last 8:50 and pulled ahead at 98-97 on a Jayson Castro jumper with 1:42 left.

The Batang Pier wrested control back with Kevin Ferrer hitting from downtown, 100-98, only for Rosario to bring TNT up front again.

Notes: PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said he has slapped San Miguel Beer’s Terrence Romeo with a P20,000 fine for head-butting Philip Paniamogan of NLEX in their Friday encounter in Dubai.

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