Rice Jr. saves TNT from Rain or Shine to advance to semis
Paul Lintag on Sep 29, 2017 09:46 PM
Glen Rice Jr. scored the go-ahead putback with 10 seconds left to power TNT past Rain or Shine in a knockout game.
Two champion teams facing each other in a knockout game. What else did you expect?
No. 2 TNT made the plays down the stretch to power through no. 7 Rain or Shine, advancing to the semifinals of the 2017 Governors' Cup after a wild 118-114 victory Friday at the Big Dome.
Tied at 114, import Glen Rice Jr. elevated for the go-ahead putback with 10.2 seconds left, cleaning up the miss of Jayson Castro from deep.
Holding on to a two-point lead, the KaTropa then forced a Rain or Shine turnover on the other end and Ryan Reyes iced the victory from the free throw line.
Bouncing back from a 102-106 loss two days ago that negated their twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, the KaTropa have arranged a duel with defending champion Ginebra in the next round.
In a game that featured 16 ties and 16 lead changes, Rice Jr. proved to be the difference TNT needed to score the win. Before his final clutch field goal, Rice hit a booming three from way out to give the KaTropa a 112-108 lead with 2:11 left.
The Elasto Painters would storm back to take a 114-112 advantage but Castro was steady as ever from the stripe to force the game's final deadlock, setting up Rice's heroics.
"Hard-fought victory," head coach Nash Racela said. "But we knew all along heading into this series that we'll be having a hard time playing them."
"It just showed the last two games tha twe played. It just so happen today that we came out to be the better team," he added.
Rice Jr. finished with 34 points to lead TNT, 12 coming in the fourth, on top of 16 rebounds and nine assists. Castro was good for 20 points, six rebounds, and 12 dimes. The Blur was also a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line.
Troy Rosario and RR Pogoy added 18 and 16 points respectively for the KaTropa.
J'Nathan Bullock powered the Elasto Painters with 30 points but his crucial turnover in his team's final possession proved to be fatal. Five locals scored in double figures for Rain or Shine with led by Beau Belga's 18 off the bench.
TNT 118 - Rice Jr. 34, Castro 20, Rosario 18, Pogoy 16, Williams 10, Semerad 8, Reyes 5, Carey 4, Tautuaa 3, Nuyles 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 114 - Bullock 30, Belga 18, Borboran 15, Norwood 14, Cruz 11, Tiu 10, Ahanmisi 7, Trollano 5, Almazan 4, Ponferada 0.
Quarters: 27-27, 59-59, 85-86, 118-114.
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