By Adrian Stewart Co
Roger Pogoy had a career outing, but Jayson Castro came up with clutch baskets as TNT Tropang Giga pulled off a 100-95 victory over Alaska Aces in the restart of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup last night at the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Pampanga.
Trailing 89-92, Pogoy pulled off a three-pointer followed by two free throws by Ryan Reyes to take a 94-93 edge. Castro then came up with six straight points as they kept the Aces at bay.
Pogoy finished the match with career-high 45 points, built on 10 outside conversions, while Castro chipped in 28 markers as the Tropang Giga tied defending champion San Miguel Beermen on top with 1-0 slate.
The Tropang Giga had a flat start as they went down 15-30 after the first 12 minutes before mounting a huge second quarter uprising behind Pogoy and Castro for a 48-all halftime count.
The Aces regained the upperhand at the onset of the third quarter but the Tropang Giga were quick to erase it at 56-all. Alaska, however, went on another rally to take a 71-63 edge before TNT closed the quarter strong to come to within 71-72 on a Pogoy trey.
Both teams traded leads in the fourth period before Tropang Giga surged to an 87-82 lead on consecutive hits by Pogoy. The Aces made its last run to take a slim 92-89 advantage on two free throws by Michael Digregorio.
Abu Tratter finished the match with 17 points, Digregorio and Robbie Herndon contributed 16 markers each, while Vic Manuel had 15 points as the Aces slumped to 0-1 along with Magnolia Hotshots.