Troy Rosario TNT PBA

TNT forward Troy Rosario. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Troy Rosario had a tough stretch from settling for a silver medal in the 31st Southeast Asian Games to testing positive for COVID-19 when he got home from Hanoi, Vietnam.

“It was a tough stretch for me because last week after SEA Games, I tested positive so I had to quarantine for at least one week before returning to the team practice,” revealed Rosario after TNT opened its Philippine Cup title-retention bid with a 78-72 victory over Magnolia PBA Season 47 opener.

But the 30-year-old forward hardly missed a beat as he showed the way for the defending champions, who missed the presence of veteran big man Kelly Williams due to nagging injury and newly-crowned Rookie of the Year Mikey Williams, who is still renegotiating his contract.

Rosario took charge with 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds in over 36 minutes.

It was a result of the former National University standout’s double effort in practice and the guidance of his teammates.

“When I started to join the practice, I really worked double time and I really studied all the things I needed to do. Thankfully my teammates helped me in catching up for the things I missed,” Rosario said in Filipino.

Rosario also credited his rousing 47th season debut with the team’s mindset of wanting to win the Philippine Cup crown again this year.

“Our mindset is if we did it last (season), we can do it again through our hard work and defense. Playing great defense will lead to more offense,” he said.

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