TNT's Castro, De Ocampo conspire against Globalport's comeback
MANILA, Philippines – Jayson Castro and Ranidel De Ocampo executed one of TNT KaTropa's patented plays so smoothly inside 12 of the final 18 seconds, and it was enough for the game-winning pinprick that snuffed Globalport Batang Pier's comeback hopes, 122-120, in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday, August 31, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 30-year-old Castro, Asia's best point guard, surveyed the floor some distance from the top of the key and made his move. He dribbled, lowered his head, and attacked the defense straight to the hoop.
Castro's "The Blur" reputation as being lethal on the drive preceded him, and the Batang Pier's defense collapsed. It left De Ocampo, 34, wide open for the kickout pass and the game-winning two points – a 3-point attempt that was deemed a two with his foot on the arc.
"It's a read, whoever is open, he (Castro) found Ranidel open and he made a big shot," head coach Jong Uichico explained the play that broke the 120-all deadlock and set the final tally with 6 seconds to go.
"We needed this win any way, any how."
De Ocampo's marginal two-pointer and Castro's well-timed assist made up for their two defensive lapses in the final minute, which allowed Stanley Pringle to charge at the basket twice and tie the game at 120, after TNT led by as much as 16 early in the fourth and 11 with 3:14 remaining.
Castro finished with a conference-high 37 points along with 8 assists and 4 rebounds. His 3-pointer with over 3 minutes to go put TNT on top by 11. He also had a 13-point second quarter spurt that opened up a 70-52 halftime lead.
De Ocampo, whose turnover led to Pringle's game-tying bucket with 41 seconds left, scattered 17 points and 7 rebounds.
Larry Fonacier chipped in 14 markers and 5 boards. Ryan Reyes and Michael Madanly added 11 and 10 points, respectively, as import Mychal Ammons settled for 7 points and 11 rebounds.
TNT, which led by as much as 42-18 in the second frame, remained on top of the standings with a 7-1 record.
Meanwhile, import Michael Glover had a game-high 38 points on top of 18 rebounds and a block. Terrence Romeo dropped 33 points with 11 coming in the fourth as Globalport rallied for a comeback. He also had 7 assists and 6 rebounds.
Pringle came up with 25 markers but his earlier efforts went for naught after he committed a crucial turnover – a pass too strong for Jay Washington to handle – in the final 6 seconds.
Globalport snapped its 3-game winning streak and is now 3-5. – Rappler.com