TNT escapes ROS as Yap turns from hero to zero

Kenyon Martin defends Russell Westbrook’s on-court actions and leadership

ANTIPOLO — TNT banked on the heroics of rookie Roger Pogoy and the struggle of veteran gunner James Yap at the line to nip past Rain or Shine, 105-102, for a wild finish of their Commissioner’s Cup assignment on Sunday at the jampacked Ynares Center.

  • Roger that: With the momentum shifting to the defending champions in the dying seconds, Pogoy hit a clutch go-ahead jumper off a loose ball in the 26.8 seconds mark against Yap. Veteran forward Ranidel de Ocampo sealed the deal after drilling his pressure-packed charities.
  • Bittersweet: Though he moved 27 points away from joining 10,000-point club, Yap turned from hero to zero after botching three free throws and two field goal attempts which turned out to be the Elasto Painters’ last gasp as they failed to have a clear attempt in their last possession.
  • New sheriff in town: Bulky import Joshua Smith bulldozed his way to the paint as Rain or Shine lost Duke Crews midway in the third after getting ejected. Smith scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half to go with 12 rebounds.
  • It’s complicated: Finishing at 8-3, TNT gave themselves a chance for a twice-to-beat bonus but the other top teams had to lose their remaining games. Rain or Shine, on the other hand, might end up as low as the seventh seed and have a twice-to-beat disadvantage come the quarterfinals after ending up with a 5-6 card.
  • Quote of the match: “Expected naman yun especially Rain or Shine needs the game to win today for them to have a really good placing in the quarterfinals.” – TNT head coach Nash Racela

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