PBA Saturday: No hero’s welcome for Rain or Shine in Govs’ Cup debut

Only one game took place last night in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup but it was certainly a good one, as the TNT Katropa laid out a rude welcome to the returning Rain or Shine Elastopainters in Passi City, Iloilo.

FOX Sports Philippines lays out some of the best moments from Saturday night.

Bong Ravena era off to a good start

PBA-Bong Ravena

TNT Katropa officially parted ways with Nash Racela and handed the reigns to long-time assistant Bong Ravena earlier this week, and it immediately paid dividends with an impressive 110-104 victory over Coach Caloy Garcia’s wards.

The team also welcomed two-time Kiwi Olympian and former Tab Baldwin player Mark Dickel as its new consultant.

Inspired by Ravena’s fellow Ilonggos inside the City of Passi Arena, TNT capitalized on a strong second half to pull away from 2018 Asian Games representatives.  Katropa took advantage of ROS’ 23 turnovers and turned it into 27 points on the other end.

Blakely doing Blakely things

Ravena and Dickel were certainly a refreshing sight in the TNT sidelines, but it was Marqus Blakely’s return to the PBA that once again elevated the team’s status as contenders.

A two-time PBA Governors’ Cup Champion with the Magnolia franchise, Blakely infused a much need jolt of energy to the entire Katropa with his frenzied intensity for 48 minutes.

“Mr. Everything” did not disappoint in his debut for TNT, tallying game-highs of 28 points and 14 rebounds and was two assists shy of triple-double, finishing with 8 dimes. He also completed 3 steals and one blocked shot.

TNT’s youth movement in full swing

With Jason Castro sitting this one out, the Katropa locals had to step up big time in order to fully maximize their import’s all-around presence.

TNT’s pair of 26-year-olds Troy Rosario and Terrence Romeo heeded the call, as they went ballistic from downtown shooting a combined 11-27 from deep.

With Rosario spacing the floor and Blakely stalking the wings, TNT’s fleet footed guards were able to penetrate inside with ease. The former NU star had 24 points and 7 rebounds.

Romeo, on the other hand, was his usual dazzling self, wowing the crowd with his crazy handles and unlimited range. He posted 22 points, 5 boards, and 5 assists, but he did commit 7 turnovers in 35 minutes.

RoS needs to shake off the rust

PBA-RoS

The Elastopainters’ key players played plenty of basketball in the 2018 Asian Games and again in the fourth window of the Fiba World Cup Qualifiers, but it’s evident that Coach Caloy’s unit needs to re-familiarize themselves with the PBA game.

Returning reinforcement J’Nathan Bullock had a decent – but nothing out of the ordinary – outing, notching 23 points on 7-14 shooting. But his rebounding numbers leaves a lot to be desired, as he only gobbled 5 rebounds in 37 minutes of play.

Apart from the sloppy play that resulted into 23 turnovers, ROS did not move the ball well, particularly in the second half, dishing out only 16 assists as a team contrary to TNT’s 27.

Wrong huddle, Mr. ‘Rock n’ Roll’

It’s always good to know what your opponents are planning to do, and Raymond Almazan took it up a notch by “accidentally” joining TNT’s players only huddle.

Alamazan contributed 8 points, 10 rebounds, and one insider scoop of TNT’s set play.

(Images from PBA)

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