PBA: TNT extends perfect start to 4-0 with rout of Phoenix

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 19 2020 06:21 PM | Updated as of Oct 19 2020 07:24 PM

TNT improved to 4-0 in the PBA Philippine Cup after a big win over Phoenix. PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) TNT Tropang Giga waxed hot in the third quarter en route to a comfortable 110-91 rout of Phoenix Super LPG, extending their perfect start to four games in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, Monday at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Roger Pogoy, a game-time decision due to an ankle sprain, scored 30 points, 10 of which came in the pivotal third frame, while six other players reached double-digits for the Tropang Giga who rose to the solo lead in the conference. 

Poy Erram had 18 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks, while Ray Parks had 12 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Jayson Castro finished with 10 points on the night that he became the sixth active player to join the league's 8,000-points club.

"During the first half, we're really having a hard time," TNT coach Bong Ravena said afterward. "They started so well, and they started so strong. Give credit to Phoenix; they're not pushovers."

Phoenix led by as much as 14 points and had a 54-45 advantage at the half, with shooting guard Matthew Wright already accounting for 20 points on five-of-six shooting from the field. He opened the third frame with another triple, extending the Fuel Masters' lead to 12 points, 57-45.

But TNT responded with a 15-3 run to tie the game at 60. Another scoring flurry -- this time of nine straight points -- gave them a 75-68 lead to end the frame.

It was all TNT in the final period, with Pogoy pouring in 10 more points, while Erram had eight to keep the Tropang Giga in control. Phoenix's offense, which flowed smoothly in the first half, sputtered in the second as they just had 37 points in the third and fourth periods of the game.

"It's all defense," Ravena said. "I must say that our defense really pulled us through."

After allowing Phoenix to shoot 45.9% from the field in the first half, TNT limited the Fuel Masters to just 26.2% shooting in the second. 

Wright finished with 31 points and six rebounds, but Jorey Napoles (10) was the only other Phoenix player in double-digits. Jason Perkins labored for eight points before fouling out in the fourth period, while Justin Chhua had just seven points on three-of-11 shooting.