Castro-Williams connection sends TNT closer to dethroning SMB
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 16, 2017 09:17 PM
NO PEER PAIR.
Jayson Castro has been reinforcing himself as premiere point guard just as Kelly Williams has been re-establishing himself as an power presence now in the 2016-2017 PBA Philippine Cup.
The two picked the perfect time to get together on Thursday at the Araneta Coliseum and became the KaTropa’s one-two punch that knocked out San Miguel, 101-94, in the crucial Game 5 of their semifinal series.
Castro and Williams scored 18 points apiece to lead TNT right through the defending champion Beermen and all the way to an all-important 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Finals. The former also counted seven assists while the latter also collared seven rebounds.
The two outscored all of San Miguel by their lonesome, 10-3, from the five-minute to the two-minute mark of the final frame to widen the KaTropa’s one-point margin into a 93-85 advantage.
Alex Cabagnot dropped a long-range bomb to pull the Beermen within 92-97 with 36 ticks to go only to see rookie RR Pogoy coolly convert a layup to seal the deal for TNT.
Ranidel de Ocampo chimed in 18 markers of his own in the KaTropa’s bounce back win after dropping Game 4. “It’s not really about personal duels. It’s really team effort for us,” coach Nash Racela said in his post-game conference.
Arwind Santos had 18 points to lead a total of five San Miguel players in double-digits, but none of them made much of a mark in the endgame.
The KaTropa registered four players of their own in double-digits – and the two of those were the difference in the heavyweight bout.
On the back of Castro and Williams, TNT pushed the defending champions closer to the brink. More importantly, on the back of Castro and Williams, TNT moved one step away from the championship round.
Castro and company go for the jugular on Saturday at the MOA Arena.
TNT 101 - Castro 18, Williams 18, De Ocampo 18, Pogoy 11, Reyes 9, Rosales 8, Fonacier 7, Seigle 4, Carey 2, Tautuaa 2, Rosario 2, Rosser 0, Golla 0, Sumalinog 0.
SAN MIGUEL 94 - Santos 18, Cabagnot 17, Lassiter 16, Ross 15, Fajardo 13, Espinas 9, Reyes 4, Garcia 2, Agovida 0, Tubid 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 24-32, 50-40, 73-69, 101-94.
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