PBA Philippine Cup

Castro plays hero as TNT escapes error-plagued Converge

Delfin Dioquino
Castro plays hero as TNT escapes error-plagued Converge

VETERAN. Jayson Castro takes matters into his own hands to propel TNT back into the winning column.

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Jayson Castro saves the day as TNT rediscovers its winning ways with a nail-biting escape win over Converge

ANTIPOLO, Philippines – Jayson Castro took over down the stretch and TNT hacked out an 86-83 win over error-strewn Converge in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center here on Sunday, June 12.

Castro scored the go-ahead layup with two ticks left and finished with a game-high 17 points as the Tropang Giga escaped after the FiberXers blew their chances with a series of mistakes late.

RK Ilagan gave Converge an 83-82 edge with a clutch jumper, but muffed a pair of crucial free throws with nine seconds remaining that would have given the FiberXers a three-point advantage.

Hauling down the defensive rebound, Castro went coast-to-coast and drained a tough layup over Ilagan to put TNT in the front seat, 84-83.

Converge had ample time to steal the win, but Ben Adamos threw the ball away during an inbounds pass as JJ Alejandro sealed the deal for the Tropang Giga by sinking his foul shots.

“As one of the veterans, I needed to take over at that moment,” said Castro, who also chalked up 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal.

Castro hit another cold-blooded bucket earlier as he answered a Maverick Ahanmisi three-pointer with his own trey with 30 ticks left for an 82-81 TNT lead.

“In crucial games like this, I need to show up as a veteran. I have to lead by example. Fortunately, my outside shots and my floater fell,” Castro added.

Glenn Khobuntin chimed in 15 points and 8 rebounds, Troy Rosario produced 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Roger Pogoy added 12 points in the win.

Alejandro provided spark off the bench with 10 points and Poy Erram contributed 9 points and 8 rebounds for the Tropang Giga, who remained without star guard Mikey Williams.

Williams’ absence has taken its toll on TNT as the Tropang Giga failed to protect their lead, with the FiberXers storming back from a 15-point hole in the opening quarter.

But unlike its breakthrough win over Magnolia two days ago where it overhauled a 20-point deficit, Converge fell short in completing another comeback job and fell to 1-2.

The FiberXers could have easily been 3-0 as they lost their two games – the first one against Rain or Shine – by an average of 2.5 points.

Mike Tolomia paced Converge with 17 points, while Ahanmisi and Racal put up 15 points apiece.

The Scores

TNT 86 – Castro 17, Khobuntin 15, Rosario 13, Pogoy 12, Alejandro 10, Erram 9, Reyes 6, K. Williams 4, Marcelo 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.

Converge 83 – Tolomia 17, Ahanmisi 15, Racal 15, Arana 9, Teng 8, Ambohot 5, Hill 4, Ilagan 2, Murrell 2, Bulanadi 2, Digregorio 2, Adamos 2. 

Quarters: 24-12, 40-36, 63-57, 86-83. 

– Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.