TNT pocketed an easy win over struggling Alaska, 106-98, in the PBA Philippine Cup at Cuneta Astrodome on Friday.
Troy Rosario fired 21 points, while Moala Tautuaa and Jayson Castro had 18 each to deliver the KaTropa's first victory of the season.
TNT’s bench did much of the damage against the Aces, combining for 42 points to offset Jeron Teng’s outstanding performance.
Besides getting big numbers from Tautuaa, TNT also got 11 points from RR Garcia, 7 from Roger Pogoy and 6 from Sidney Onwubere.
“The reason they got longer minutes today is because we were undermanned. (Alex) Nuyles and (Anthony) Semerad were both injured,” TNT coach Nash Racela.
“So that's what we keep on telling our players, the second and the third group, to always be ready.”
Tautuaa was the best performer on Friday night. From an average of 10 points, he shot 8 of 12 from the field and grabbed 9 boards.
“Today we saw advantages with Mo and I think Mo was really learning the ropes. He's doing adjustments too, I really feel he's starting to turn that corner and we expect a lot more from him,” Racela said.
Accuracy from the free-throw area was a big plus for TNT, too. The KaTropa made 16 of 20 shots from the 15-foot line.
Teng, meanwhile, did most of the scoring for Alaska, registering 28 points and 5 assists. Jayvee Casio and Calvin Abueva added 17 and 16 points, respectively.
But what killed the Aces was their subpar shooting from the perimeter, connecting only 7 of 27 (25%) of their attempts from the 3-point area.
TNT now has a record of 1-1 while Alaska absorbed its second straight loss in as many games.
TNT 106 - Rosario 21, Castro 18, Tautuaa 18, Garcia 11, Williams 9, Pogoy 7, Onwubere 6, Reyes 6, Torres 6, Tallo 2, Arong 2, Carey 0.
Alaska 98 - Teng 28, Casio 17, Abueva 16, Magat 9, Thoss 6, Pascual 5, Galliguez 5, Banchero 4, Cruz 4, Manuel 2, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0.
Quarters: 29-30, 58-49, 81-72, 106-98.
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