MANILA, Philippines – TNT pounced on a Rain or Shine side that played without an import and cruised to a 110-91 blowout in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, October 15.
The Tropang Giga regained their bearings in the third quarter after blowing a huge lead in the first half as the Elasto Painters ran out of gas with reinforcement Steve Taylor Jr. sidelined due to health and safety protocols.
Back from a two-game absence, TNT veteran Jayson Castro finished with 10 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds as he made the most out of his 14 minutes and powered their third-quarter breakaway.
Up by just 5 points at halftime, 50-55, the Tropang Giga rode on an 18-4 run – a stretch where Castro scored 4 points and dished out 4 assists – to build a 19-point lead.
Calvin Oftana, Jaydee Tungcab, and Mikey Williams then made it rain from deep to end the third period as TNT sat on a comfortable 87-64 cushion.
Import Cameron Oliver led the Tropang Giga, who won two in a row for a 2-1 record, with 21 points on top of 8 rebounds, and Roger Pogoy netted 15 points, with 8 coming in the third frame.
Oftana chimed in 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals, while Tungcab delivered a season-high 14 points after going a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.
TNT shot the lights out from deep after knocking down 16 three-pointers, including 8 treys in a sizzling opening quarter where it led by as many as 22 points.
Rain or Shine, though, did not back down behind the young trio of Andrei Caracut, Rey Nambatac, and Santi Santillan as it got within a single possession in the second quarter, 48-50.
However, the absence of Taylor – who averages 20.5 points, 16 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.3 steals – eventually took its toll on the Elasto Painters, who dropped to 2-3.
Nambatac finished with 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists for Rain or Shine, Santillan put up 11 points, and 10 rebounds, while Anton Asistio added 11 points.
TNT 110 – Oliver 21, Pogoy 15, Oftana 15, Tungcab 14, Castro 10, Montalbo 8, M.Williams 8, Alejandro 6, Ganuelas-Rosser 5 , Erram 4, K.Williams 2, Marcelo 2, Cruz 0.
Rain or Shine 91 – Nambatac 20, Caracut 12, Asistio 11, Santillan 11, Ildefonso 9, Belga 7, Mamuyac 4, Norwood 4, Ponferrada 4, Borboran 4, Demusis 2, Guinto 1, Nieto 1, Torres 1.
Quarters: 41-20, 55-50, 86-64, 110-91.