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TNT KaTropa bucked an inconsistent showing that marred the debut of new import Donte Greene and escape past winless Blackwater, 92-89, last night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Rookie RR Pogoy scored 11 of his career-high 24 points in the fourth quarter, including a tip-in that broke an 87-all tie with 1:47 remaining, as the KaTropa rallied from a 12-point deficit to notch their second win in three games while dealing the Elite their fourth straight loss.
Larry Fonacier followed up Pogoy’s basket by nailing a three-pointer, 92-87, 1:15to play. Blackwater import Greg Smith hit two foul shots on the ensuing possession to cut the lead to three, but the Elite failed on two chances to force the game into overtime.
James Sena missed a three-point try before KG Canaleta, playing his first game after being traded from Globalport, bungled his own attempt from the right corner at the buzzer.
Greene, a former NBA player for the Sacramento Kings, had 22 points and 13 rebounds in his first game after TNT played its first two games with another former NBA veteran in Lou Amundson. However, his performance left much to be desired.
“I think for Donte, he has to give us more than what he gave us today and I think that is something that we could get from this game,” said TNT coach Nash Racela.
Smith grabbed 31 rebounds for his second game of the conference with at least 30 boards, while scoring 22, but his and the rest of the Elite’s efforts went to waste after they squandered a 75-63 lead early in the fourth.
TNT KATROPA 92 – Pogoy 24, Greene 22, Castro 13, Williams 11, De Ocampo 10, Rosario 4, Fonacier 3, Rosales 3, Reyes 2, Carey 0, Golla 0.
BLACKWATER 89 – Smith 22, Buenafe 12, Pascual 12, Sumang 9, Cruz 7, Pinto 7, Canaleta 6, Cervantes 4, DiGregorio 4, Sena 4, Miranda 2, Gamalinda 0, Perez 0.
Quarters: 15-27; 39-41; 63-73; 92-89.