TNT Ka Tropa opened the 1st quarter with a 9-2 run behind Matt Ganuelas-Rosser (MGR) and a rare 4-point play by Ryan Reyes. The game was played at TNT’s pace — quick, fast and with tons of drive-and-kicks. The Alaska Aces were able to slowly cut the lead, tying the game midway through the 1st when Kevin Racal made two free throws to tie the game at 20. But Ranidel de Ocampo (RDO) would spearhead an 11-2 run to end the quarter, 31-22.
The game, from then on, felt like TNT’s game to lose. Alaska made runs — slow runs, but TNT always had an answer to keep Alaska at bay. And while Alaska made slow, defensive runs, TNT made quick, fiery runs behind their 3-point shooting. In the 2nd quarter, Alaska needed 4 minutes to cut TNT’s 9-point lead to 5 point. But TNT only needed 1 minute to build it back up to 8, 39-31, behind back-to-back treys from Troy Rosario. TNT would answer every basket that Alaska toiled for. And then TNT would press the turbo button, going on a 10-2 run late in the second to carry a big 16-point lead into the 2nd half.
That was the story of the game right there: while Alaska did make runs, they made them slowly and methodically. Meanwhile, TNT made quick, explosive runs. It usually took TNT about half the time it takes for Alaska to make a similar run. This was true in the 1st half and it was true in the 2nd half.
Alaska would cut the lead to 7 by the end of the 3rd, punctuated by an Exciminiano buzzer beater. But that would be the closest Alaska got in the 2nd half. TNT would keep them at bay with timely 3-point shooting. They finished the game making 14 of their 31 3-point attempts (45 percent). Alaska wasn’t a slouch in scoring, finishing the game with an eFG of 50 percent (LGA 48.3 percent). But the difference in scoring from deep (TNT was a +18 from 3-point land) was the biggest difference.
Troy Rosario led all scorers with 26 (85.5 percent TS, 6 triples) while Abueva led Alaska in scoring with 18 points (46.1 percent TS).
With the win, TNT breaks away from the 5-team tie, finishing with a 4-2 record (tied with Blackwater). Alaska drops to 3-3, tied with Phoenix.