MANILA, Philippines – Ranidel De Ocampo took charge down the stretch as the TNT KaTropa rallied from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Barangay Ginebra, 108-103, in the 2016-17 PBA All-Filipino Cup Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
De Ocampo scored 15 of his team-high 22 points in the final frame, responding with big baskets every time the Gin Kings looked to be pulling away. He also assisted on the go-ahead lay-up by Kelly Williams that made it 104-103 with just 1:25 left in the ballgame.
Rookie Roger Pogoy made some huge defensive plays down the stretch, bothering LA Tenorio on a potential go-ahead jumper then securing an offensive rebound off a miss by De Ocampo. His two free throws made it a three-point game, 106-103, with just 20.9 seconds to go.
Joe Devance misfired on a potential game-tying three-pointer, and Larry Fonacier iced the game from the free throw line.
It was a bounce back performance from the KaTropa, who lost their first game in blowout fashion, 87-101, to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. Still playing sans Jayson Castro, the team got contributions from nearly every player with seven members finishing in double digits.
"It's good to finally get a win after a rough first game," said TNT assistant coach Josh Reyes, who called the shots in place of head coach Nash Racela.
"We had to make a lot of adjustments defensively, and I guess it was an advantage that this is Ginebra's first game," he added.
The Gin Kings, buoyed by a vocal crowd, led by as much as 14 points, 78-64, and were on top, 93-81, early in the fourth frame off a hook shot by Dave Marcelo.
However, De Ocampo refused to let the KaTropa fold. He anchored an 11-0 run that made it a three-point game, 92-95, with less than five minutes left. And after Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar pushed the lead back to six, 98-92, he scored five unanswered points to make it a one-point game, 97-98, with 3:15 to go.
It was De Ocampo who answered free throws by Tenorio and a booming three-pointer by Scottie Thompson with big shots of his own, with his three-pointer tying the game at 1-2 with 1:52 left.
A split at the line by Aguilar gave Ginebra its last lead, 103-102, but De Ocampo perfectly set up Williams for the go-ahead lay-up and TNT would not trail again.
"Without Jayson, and even when Jayson is there, Ranidel is still our leader, so I just went to him," said Reyes. "I called a lot of plays for him, and he delivered."
"That's what he's been doing his whole career. I'm glad that he delivered today. He's just somebody that we can trust in those kinds of situations," he added.
Ginebra flubbed chances to take the lead with Aguilar committing a turnover, and Tenorio hitting iron on a short jumper. Devance's potential game-tying triple was well off the mark, and TNT proceeded to ice the game at the line.
Pogoy and Fonacier each finished with 15 points, and Troy Rosario and Mo Tautuaa each had 12 before fouling out in the fourth frame.
Tenorio scored 27 points to lead Ginebra, but he was limited to only three markers in the pivotal fourth quarter, in which they were outscored, 32-16, by the KaTropa. Aguilar and Devance each scored 15 points, while Thompson had 13 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.
The Gin Kings did not help their case as they missed 15 of their 37 free throws in the contest. They also failed to match the energy of the TNT bench, as the KaTropa reserves outscored their Ginebra counterparts, 46-21.
TNT 108 - De Ocampo 22, Pogoy 15, Fonacier 15, Tautuaa 12, Rosario 12, Williams 11, Rosser 10, Reyes 8, Carey 3, Hernandez 0, Rosales 0, Sumalinog 0.
GINEBRA 103 - Tenorio 27, Aguilar 15, Devance 15, Thompson 13, Ellis 12, Mercado 7, Marcelo 6, Caguioa 4, Ferrer 3, Mariano 1, Cruz 0, Taha 0.
Quarter scores: 34-30, 53-53, 76-87, 108-103
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