MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The TNT KaTropa held off the defending champs’ second half rally to tie the semifinals series against San Miguel Beermen, 87-85, in Game 2 of the best-of-7 semifinals in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday, February 10, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The KaTropa relied on Jayson Castro’s double-double performance, as the veteran scored 10 points together with 11 assists.
Castro and the rest of TNT took full control of the match in the first half as the fourth seed squad managed to stretch the lead by 11.
The defending champions refused to back down as Alex Cabagnot knocked down a triple to even the score at 70 with 3 mins left in the final quarter.
TNT shook off their rival’s late rally as back-to-back baskets delivered by RR Pogoy and veteran Jayson Castro provided the team an 85-82 lead with under two minutes left in the match.
The top seed Beermen had a chance to tie the game with 6 secs remaining on the clock, but wasn’t able to convert down the stretch.
“We made sure [Cabagnot] won’t have a look. Our players were able to make stops, I think we had 2 or 3 consecutive stops,” said TNT head coach Nash Racela.
Ranidel de Ocampo likewise put up a double-double with 13 markers and 13 boards for TNT, while Troy Rosario contributed a team-high 14.
Reigning MVP Junemar Fajardo dished out a solid performance, scoring a game-high 25 points coupled with 7 blocks and 11 boards.
Fajardo got massive help from Alex Cabagnot, who had 24 markers for San Miguel.
Game 3 of this series is on Sunday, February 12 at Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
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.
Quarter scores: 20-15, 42-33, 65-59, 87-85.