Terrific 12: TNT falls to Lance Stephenson, Liaoning in tight game
MACAU—TNT fell short in its opening match and lost to Liaoning, 96-91, in Group D of the East Asia Super League: The Terrific 12 Tuesday at Tap Seac Sports Pavilion here.
The KaTropa fell to a 0-1 record in the group and will now have to rely on Niigata to beat the Flying Leopards on Thursday to at least get a shot at the semifinals.
A win for Liaoning against the Albirex Basketball would ultimately eliminate the KaTropa.
Former NBA veteran Lance Stephenson sizzled in his first game with the Flying Leopards putting up 31 points, six rebounds, and eight assists.
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TNT held a 62-57 lead midway through the third but that was its last grasp on the driver’s seat with Liaoning staging a 9-0 run to take the 66-62 lead with 2:58 left in the third off of Li Xiaoxu’s putback layup.
“First of I thought it was a really good game and we came off a long conference in the PBA so this is a really good competition for us to play in,” said TNT active consultant Mark Dickel.
“Lots of positives to build around in this game.”
TNT’s David Semerad got into a tussle with Stephenson late in the but was easily pacified after game officials intervened.
The KaTropa relied mostly on imports McKenzie Moore and KJ McDaniels as their offensive force with Troy Rosario, Ryan Reyes, and Anthony Semerad all sitting the game out.
Moore finished with a game-high 41 points with seven rebounds and five assists while McDaniels, TNT’s main reinforcement in the PBA Governors’ Cup, had 32 points and nine boards.
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