Racela 'on leave' as TNT ends 3-game dry spell
MANILA, Philippines – Playing minus head coach Nash Racela, TNT shrugged off some team drama as it hacked out a 118-114 overtime win over Columbian in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, September 2.
Even without Racela – who was put "on leave" and temporarily replaced by deputy Eric Gonzales – the KaTropa snapped out of a three-game skid to improve to 2-4 while keeping the Dyip winless in five games.
Jayson Castro chalked up 25 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds to power TNT, which squandered a 16-point lead and needed an extra period to dispatch the pesky Columbian.
Sidelined in the last game, Terrence Romeo returned with flare and pumped in 22 points to go with 6 assists and knocked down a tough layup that gave the KaTropa a 117-114 lead with under a minute left in the clock.
The Dyip had plenty of chances to equalize but to no avail as Castro secured the triumph with an insurance free throw.
RR Pogoy chipped in a double-double of 16 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals while Anthony Semerad and import Stacy Davis added 15 and 11 points, respectively, in the win.
Columbian was primed to end a 20-game losing streak in the season-ending conference that dates back to 2016 after back-to-back Jerramy King triples gave it a 103-101 lead in the fourth quarter.
However, TNT retaliated with its own back-to-back treys from Romeo and Pogoy for a 107-103 advantage – a lead that did not remain as buckets from Dyip import Akeem Wright and Escoto forged overtime.
King paced Columbian with 26 points and 9 rebounds while Wright churned out 24 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists.
TNT 118 - Castro 25, Romeo 22, Pogoy 16, Semerad 15, Davis 11, Garcia 9, Rosario 7, Williams 4, Trollano 3, Cruz 2, Paredes 2, Carey 2, Golla 0, Reyes 0.
Columbian 114 - King 26, Wright 24, McCarthy 18, Escoto 15, Camson 6, Lastimosa 6, Ababou 5, Khobuntin 4, Gabriel 4, Cabrera 3, Reyes 2, Sara 1, Cahilig 0.
Quarters: 40-26, 61-48, 84-77, 107-107, 118-114 (OT).