PBA Philippine Cup

TNT escapes gritty Rain or Shine in overtime for 2nd straight win

Martin Mendoza
TNT escapes gritty Rain or Shine in overtime for 2nd straight win

POISE. Jayson Castro helps TNT rise from a double-digit deficit against Rain or Shine.

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TNT storms back from a 16-point second-half deficit to pick up a hard-earned win over Rain or Shine

MANILA, Philippines – The TNT Tropang Giga picked up their second straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup after outlasting the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in overtime, 89-85, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Thursday, June 23.

TNT banked on a balanced attack as five players scored in double figures, but it was Troy Rosario who led the way with 19 points, to go along with 8 rebounds and 3 blocks.

High-scoring guard Mikey Williams, the runner-up to Scottie Thompson in the MVP race last season, finally made his season debut for the Tropang Giga after a long contract negotiation and added 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 6 assists in the win.

Poy Erram, who came up with the go-ahead basket in the extra period, had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, while RR Pogoy and Jayson Castro chipped in 12 markers apiece for the Tropang Giga as they improved to 4-2.

After a back-and-forth first half, where Rain or Shine only led by 3 points, 40-37, the Elasto Painters got off to a sizzling start in the third period and extended their slim three-point advantage to as many as 16 points, 56-40, off a layup by Leonard Santillan, midway through the quarter.

However, with Rain or Shine still up by double figures, 78-68, with just 2:46 left to play, Castro suddenly came alive for TNT as he converted on back-to-back triples to slice the lead to just 4, 78-74, with 1:55 remaining.

Two consecutive layups by Rosario and Castro knotted the score at 78-all, before Rey Nambatac and Erram missed on their potential game-winning baskets for Rain or Shine and TNT, respectively, at the end of regulation.

In overtime, with the game still tied at 85 apiece with 1:18 left on the game clock, Erram made up for his miss late in the fourth frame with an undergoal stab to put TNT on top by 2, 87-85.

Rain or Shine then once again banked on Nambatac to deliver the crucial basket down the stretch, but he failed to hit the mark anew on his three-pointer with only 9 seconds remaining as Castro iced the game in the following possession with two free throws.

Mike Nieto’s solid outing of 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists for the Elasto Painters went for naught as they absorbed their fourth straight loss and slipped further to 1-4 in the standings.

Gian Mamuyac, Rain or Shine’s fifth overall pick in the 2022 PBA Draft, also showed off his wares and backstopped Nieto with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals in the heartbreaking loss.

The Scores

TNT 89 – Rosario 19, M.Williams 15, Erram 13, Pogoy 12, Castro 12, Khobuntin 5, K.Williams 4, Alejandro 4, Tungcab 3, Cruz 2, Marcelo 0, Heruela 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Banal 0.

Rain or Shine 85 – Nieto 19, Mamuyac 18, Santillan 17, Nambatac 16, Torres 6, Belga 5, Norwood 2, Demusis 2, Caracut 0, Borboran 0.

Quarters: 20-17, 37-40, 51-62, 78-78 (reg.), 89-85 (OT).

– Rappler.com