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Sports

TNT celebrates Chot’s day in style

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star
TNT celebrates Chotâs day in style
Chot Reyes
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — TNT gifted coach Chot Reyes a happy birthday present, eking out a gritty 84-80 victory over Phoenix Super LPG to stay perfect in the 46th PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City yesterday.

The Tropang Giga bucked a slow start and turned it up behind Troy Rosario’s heroics in the fourth quarter to climb to 3-0 on Reyes’ 58th birthday.

Rosario scored eight in the Tropang Giga’s 14-3 closeout including the go-ahead bucket in the last two minutes as they solidified grip of second spot and kept close distance from leader Magnolia (4-0).

RR Pogoy and Jayson Castro chipped in 13 and 10 markers, respectively, while No. 4 rookie pick Mikey Williams added a near 9-9 double-double with four assists and two steals.

“We started the game really flat. Good thing is even if they went up big, we just kept at it. I dug deep in the bench and they kept us in the ballgame until we figured out a way towards the end,” said Reyes, crediting Phoenix’ game plan as TNT needed to carve its way from an early 16-point deficit.

Fresh from a short one-day break after a 79-69 win over Rain or Shine, TNT stared an early 8-24 hole before regaining strokes to move within 40-45 at the break.

But the Tropang Giga still had a hard time catching up with the Fuel Masters, trailing at 70-77 in the waning minutes until Rosario bannered an uprising for a slim 80-77 lead.

Rain or Shine earlier averted a collapse against winless Terrafirma, posting a huge 83-77 comeback win to snap its two-game slump and improve to 4-2.

Rey Nambatac (17), Gabe Norwood (15) and Adrian Wong (15) led the way for the Elasto Painters.

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