PBA: TNT demolishes NorthPort to stay atop standings

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 03 2020 05:57 PM | Updated as of Nov 03 2020 06:23 PM

PBA: TNT demolishes NorthPort to stay atop standings 1
Ray Parks Jr. had a team-high 22 points in their win over NorthPort. PBA Media Bureau.

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) TNT Tropang Giga recovered from its first loss of the conference by venting its ire on NorthPort Batang Pier, 112-87, Tuesday at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Angeles City, Pampanga.

The Tropang Giga were coming off a shock 109-98 defeat to the NLEX Road Warriors last week, in the last game played before the PBA took a brief break to shore up its COVID-19 protocols in the bubble. It was TNT's first loss after winning their first five assignments.

They got back on track against the hapless Batang Pier, who were missing the services of injured swingman Sean Anthony (hamstring). TNT scored the first nine points of the game, weathered a brief NorthPort rally, then pulled away anew to end the opening frame.

The Tropang Giga built a 30-13 lead after the first period and were never really threatened, eventually leading by as much as 36 points.

"We really prepared very hard for this, especially we had a long break," said TNT coach Bong Ravena. "Coming from a loss, we had to be ready."

"(We're) just happy that we caught NorthPort on a bad day," he added. "Swerte lang kami today."

Ray Parks led the way for TNT with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Roger Pogoy added 15 points and five assists. Jayson Castro played just nine minutes and 37 seconds, making all three of his field goals for seven points on top of six dimes.

TNT was holding on to a 9-6 lead when Castro entered the game at the 6:24 mark of the opening frame. A pair of charities by Paolo Taha made it a one-point game, 9-8.

That was when Castro went to work. His layup sparked a blistering 21-5 run to end the quarter, as he assisted on three-pointers by Ryan Reyes and easy buckets inside the paint for David Semerad and Troy Rosario.

Castro was subbed out with 4:50 left in the second frame, having given TNT a comfortable 47-20 advantage. The blowout nature of the contest allowed the TNT coaches to give time to their reserves, including Jayjay Alejandro, Kib Montalbo, and Lervin Flores.

"It's a good sign. They helped the team, you know, especially we played a lot of players. We rotated more players tonight," said Ravena.

Kelly Nabong led NorthPort with 17 points, while Christian Standhardinger had 15 points and 12 rebounds. 

But the Batang Pier never really found their rhythm in the game, and they fell to 1-5 in the conference.