TNT comes back from double digits to stun Rain or Shine
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Jayson Castro took advantage of a well-executed screen, went up for a shot, and buried the 3-pointer as the Tropang TNT completed a 17-point turnaround to stun the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 101-98, in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday, July 20 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Castro's triple with 52.9 seconds remaining, capped off an 11-0 run for TNT to break the 98-all deadlock and come back from a 14-point deficit two minutes into the final quarter.
"It's good that we survived this tough game," said head coach Jong Uichico. "When you're playing Rain or Shine you'd like to defend decently because we know they can manufacture points. We try to defend them as best we can but we also need to score, and that's what happened in that run."
He noted the decision to take that 3-pointer was all Castro's, who went on to finish with 19 points, including 8 in the fourth starting with a quick trey just moments after he was subbed in for the final frame.
Castro registered a double-double with his 10 assists on top of 6 rebounds with his plus/minus at +18 during over 34 minutes on the floor.
But the veteran playmaker narrowly dodged a bullet after he was whistled for a deliberate foul with 2.5 seconds remaining, awarding Gabe Norwood two free throws plus possession to the Painters, and a golden opportunity to reverse the outcome.
But Norwood missed both charities and Rain or Shine failed to execute in the final possession, much like they did in the number of chances they had after Castro's dagger triple.
In one key possession with 1:16 to go, Rain or Shine turned the ball over after JR Quiñahan threw a pass to Jericho Cruz running out of bounds along the baseline.
TNT secured its first win of the conference despite being severely undermanned due to injuries with Troy Rosario out for at least a week, Larry Fonacier playing limited minutes coming off an operation, and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Kelly Williams both still out two weeks.
"It's quite a long time, it will be an uphill battle," said Uichico.
Reinforcement Mario Little battled foul trouble and went scoreless in the fourth but wound up with 18 points and 11 rebounds. But the Tropa got key baskets from Asian import Michael Madanly, who had 17 points with 9 in the payoff period.
Mo Tautuaa tallied 14 points plus the game-tying layup with 1:38 to play, while Ranidel De Ocampo chipped in 11 markers, 9 boards, and 4 assists.
Dior Lowhorn led Rain or Shine with 20 points and 10 rebounds, including 6 turnovers, as Quiñahan had 16 points off the bench.
Paul Lee, who had a missed triple attempt in the final minute, added 13 points, while Cruz had 12 points.
Raymond Almazan contributed 11 markers and 13 boards for the Painters, who also had to overturn a 15-point deficit in the opening quarter, only to squander their own lead late and lose their first game of the conference. – Rappler.com