TNT used a strong defensive stance in the final minute to escape with a 95-90 victory over GlobalPort and sweep their 2017 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals series Monday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ranidel de Ocampo scored six of the KaTropa’s last eight points as they fended off the pesky Batang Pier late and arrange a semifinals date against the top-seeded San Miguel Beermen.
The best-of-7 series begins on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
De Ocampo scattered 25 points on a perfect 10-of-10 shooting from the charity stripe, to go along with three rebounds and two assists, while Mo Tautuaa contribute 14 markers and five boards.
Troy Rosario chipped in a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds while veterans Kelly Williams and Larry Fonacier combined for 20 markers and 14 boards.
“We tried to be ready for their counters, but we weren’t too successful,” said coach Nash Racela as TNT tried its best to negate the presence of GlobalPort duo Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle. “Good thing is our veterans stepped up today. That was the key for us: the veterans stepping forward and delivering.”
TNT seemed to have had the game in the bag, leading by 20, 47-27 in the second quarter before Romeo led a 12-0 flurry to cut the deficit to eight, 47-39.
The KaTropa once again broke off in the third, 76-58 thanks to a de Ocampo-led 13-0 spurt, but the Batang Pier answered back with a 19-2 tear to make it a close game down the stretch.
Romeo anchored GlobalPort with 22 points, but shot a paltry 5-of-23 clip from the field. He also had seven rebounds and three assists in the loss.
Pringle got 19 markers, six dimes, and four boards, while JR Quinahan unloaded all of his 17 points in the second half.
TNT 95 – De Ocampo 25, Tautuaa 14, Rosario 12, Fonacier 10, Williams 10, Castro 9, Rosales 8, Pogoy 5, Rosser 2, Reyes 0, Carey 0, Tamsi 0.
GLOBALPORT 90 – Romeo 22, Pringle 19, Quinahan 17, Cortez 10, Canaleta 7, Semerad 7, Maierhofer 4, Mamaril 2, Paredes 2, Urbiztondo 0, Pessumal 0, Andrada 0, Pennisi 0.
Quarters: 30-22, 48-41, 76-67, 95-90.