MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Roger Pogoy drilled two huge shots in overtime to lift TNT KaTropa to a massive 80-75 triumph over the Magnolia Hotshots in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The KaTropa recovered from a loss to the Meralco Bolts in their previous game to reach the .500 mark again, with a 3-3 win-loss record in the conference.
The Hotshots, playing for the first time since winning the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup, opened their All-Filipino campaign with a loss.
"Sabi namin ng mga coaching staff, stick lang sa system namin, hindi kami bumitaw," said TNT coach Bong Ravena. "May mga lapses sa defense, may mga miscommunication. But ang usapan talaga namin, trust the process and stick to the system."
Pogoy finished with 26 points and 8 rebounds, while Jayson Castro had 24 points, 5 boards, and 4 dimes. Troy Rosario added 15 markers -- including the game-tying bucket in regulation off a Castro assist -- while Kelly Williams hauled down 13 rebounds.
It was Pogoy who shone brightest down the stretch, as he broke a 74-all deadlock with 2:35 left. The former Far Eastern University standout drained a massive 3-point to give TNT the lead for good, 77-74.
The KaTropa defense forced a shot-clock violation from Magnolia, before Mark Barroca threw up a triple that missed badly with 48 seconds to go.
That set up Pogoy's dagger, as he posted up the smaller Jiovani Jalalon before rising over the Magnolia guard for the turnaround jumper that iced the game, 79-74, with just 30 seconds to go.
"Si Pogoy, kailangan na talaga, ganoon na dapat," Ravena said of their prized swingman. "He needs to score, and he needs to make stops. Sila ni Jayson, kailangan sila na lagi."
TNT had several chances to extend the lead in the final seconds, but had to settle for a 5-point win off a split at the line form Don Trollano.
It was a closely fought game where neither team led by more than six points.
Magnolia had a slim 52-49 lead heading into the payoff period, but back-to-back triples by Trollano gave TNT a 63-61 lead with 6:25 to go, and it was back-and-forth from there as neither team could gain momentum.
A clutch jump shot by veteran forward Rafi Reavis gave Magnolia a 71-70 lead with 1:22 to go, and Magnolia appeared headed for victory after they forced Pogoy to a miss and then forced TNT to a shot-clock violation.
Unfortunately for the Hotshots, Jalalon could only make one of two charities with 10.3 seconds left for a 72-70 lead. That gave TNT the opening it needed, with Castro finding a rolling Rosario for the game-tying bucket with 2.1 ticks to go.
Magnolia still had a chance, but the KaTropa broke up a play meant for Ian Sangalang. Ryan Reyes heaved a long shot at the buzzer and nearly won it for TNT, but his attempt bounced off the board and then off the front of the rim.
That only set up Pogoy's overtime heroics, however, as TNT racked up another important win.
Robbie Herndon led Magnolia with 16 points, while Sangalang had 15 points and 8 rebounds. Jalalon had 12 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals, but will be haunted by his missed free throw in the closing seconds of regulation.
The Hotshots played the second half without Paul Lee, who left the game halfway through the second quarter and did not return.
TNT 80 - Pogoy 26, Castro 24, Rosario 15, Trollano 9, Williams 4, Taha 2, Golla 0, Reyes 0, Heruela 0, Semerad 0, Miranda 0, Casiño 0.
Magnolia 75 - Herndon 16, Sangalang 15, Jalalon 12, Barroca 9, Reavis 8, Dela Rosa 7, Simon 3, Calisaan 2, Pascual 2, Brondial 1, Lee 0.
Quarter scores: 9-13, 30-32, 49-52, 72-72, 80-75.
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