TNT snaps San Miguel's 11-game streak to tie semis series
Paul Lintag on Feb 10, 2017 09:33 PM
Jayson Castro scored or assisted in TNT's final six points, a string of clutch baskets that enabled TNT to escape San Miguel in Game 2 of their best-of-7 semifinal series.
Unlike the 2015 version of this same series, there will be no sweep this time around.
No. 4 TNT scored three straight clutch baskets to hold off two-time defending champion and no. 1 San Miguel Beer, 87-85, in Game 2 of their best-of-7 semifinal series in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup Friday at the MOA Arena.
Bouncing back after a flat effort two days ago, the KaTropa have tied this series at one apiece.
Down 81-82 with 2:24 to go, TNT came through with three consecutive buckets to have enough cushion for the win.
Jayson Castro first found RR Pogoy for a transition layup to regain the lead with exactly two minutes left in the ball game. The Blur then took it upon himself for another score less than thirty seconds later for a three-point KaTropa lead, 85-82.
The final field goal of the game came from Ranidel De Ocampo after another assist from Castro, giving TNT an 87-82 advantage. San Miguel got three more points from the free throw line courtesy of Alex Cabagnot to cut the lead to two but never really got a decent attempt for a go-ahead basket in the last 30 seconds.
The win enabled TNT to not only tie the series but the KaTropa also became the first team to beat the Beermen since November 30 of last year. San Miguel tied a franchise record and won 11 straight games in between its only two losses so far this season.
Despite a flurry of clutch baskets, TNT head coach Nash Racela points to the team's tough defensive stand that truly won them the game.
"Players were able to make a stop in the end so that's very important. I think we had two or three consecutive stops [in the end]," Racela said.
Scoreless in Game 1, Troy Rosario led TNT with 14 points off the bench for Game 2 while De Ocampo added 13 points and 13 rebounds. Mo Tautuaa and Pogoy meanwhile added 12 and 11 points apiece for the KaTropa.
In a quiet all-around effort, Castro accounted for 10 points, seven rebounds, and 11 assists for TNT.
The Beermen, who lost a chance at a franchise-record 12 straight wins, got 25 and 24 points from June Mar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot respectively. No other San Miguel player finished in double figures.
The series returns to the Big Dome on Sunday for Game 3.
TNT 87 - Rosario 14, De Ocampo 13, Tautuaa 12, Pogoy 11, Castro 10, Fonacier 10, Williams 9, Rosser 5, Rosales 3, Golla 0, Reyes 0, Seigle 0.
SAN MIGUEL 85 - Fajardo 25, Cabagnot 24, Santos 9, Espinas 8, Lassiter 8, Agovida 7, Ross 4, De Ocampo 0, Garcia 0, Reyes 0, Tubid 0.
Quarterscores: 20-15, 42-33, 65-59, 87-85.
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