Roger Pogoy scored a career-high 45 points while Jayson Castro came through when it mattered as TNT outlasted Alaska 100-95 Sunday night to officially kickstart the resumption of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Pogoy fired 10 threes on his way to setting a personal best before Castro took the responsibility of making plays in the final minutes to help the Tropang Giga see off the challenge of the upset-minded Aces.
Castro was the other Tropang Giga player in double figures with 28 points, including a bank shot off Aces guard Mike DiGregorio for a 98-95 lead, 27.9 seconds remaining.
He also hit two free throws that seal the final count after the Aces’ Jvee Casio lost the ball on the previous possession.
TNT won despite a rough debut by new center Poy Erram, who was tossed late in the third quarter for committing a technical four due to second motion. Erram had earlier been given a Flagrant Foul 1, thus the ejection.
Erram had four points, eight rebounds and six assists in 16 minutes for TNT.
Also out for the Tropang Giga was Ray Parks Jr. due to a calf strain.
The Tropang Giga won despite trailing by a high of 17 points in the first half. The Aces were poised for an upset after taking a 32-15 advantage seconds into the second quarter.
But Pogoy dropped five three-pointers as TNT was able to come back and forge a 48-all tie at the break.
Pogoy became just the fifth player in PBA history to have three games of at least eight threes.
Abu Tratter scored 17 points and Robbie Herndon and new addition DiGregorio added 16 each for the Aces in the loss.
TNT 100 — Pogoy 45, Castro 28, Rosario 9, Erram 4, De Leon 4, Enciso 2, Reyes 2, Carey 2, Montalbo 0, Flores 0, Vosotros 0.
ALASKA 95 — Tratter 17, Herndon 16, DiGregorio 16, Manuel 15, Racal 8, Marcelino 5, Brondial 5, Ebona 4, Teng 3, Galliguez 2, Ayaay 2, Casio 2, Andrada 0.
Quarters: 15-30, 48-48, 71-72, 100-95.