It’s been a while since the last time the TNT KaTropa set foot on a semifinal stage.
It last happened back in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup, when they bowed to corporate rivals and eventual two-time conference champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in four games.
Jayson Castro misses that feeling. So do his fellow Texters. And now, in their 2019 Philippine Cup quarterfinal meeting with San Miguel Beermen, making it into the semis is their motivation.
It came through loud and clear in Game Two, Monday.
With their conference on the line, the KaTropa prevented a meltdown, showing nerves of steel down the stretch to stun the reigning four-time all-Filipino kings, 93-88.
“Sa’min, ‘yung willingness na lang talagang makapasok sa semifinals kasi sobrang tagal na, di ba?
“So ‘yun ‘yung number one motivation namin,” said Castro, who finished with 19 points and nine assists.
It was Castro who led by example in the win. He struck the dagger through a tough lay-up – all over the defense of June Mar Fajardo – with 29 ticks left to finish the Beermen.
But was not just him who showed the way, as Troy Rosario also nailed the trey with 1:04 to go, returning the lead back to TNT when SMB climbed back from eight down and tied it at 86-all.
“Yung composure lang namin during that time, nandun na. At the same time, yung chemistry ng team at trust sa isa’t isa na kahit kanino mapunta yung bola, kayang mag-desisiyon,” Castro lauded.
TNT are now on a high following the big win. But Castro already has his sights set on Game Three, where he hopes that they will be able to contain Fajardo and the whole Beermen better.
Fajardo had 26 points and 19 rebounds. Four of his points came at the heels of SMB’s 8-0 run when they tied the game.
“[Isipin namin] Kung paano stop si June Mar,” said Castro with a chuckle. “Siguro kung pano sila i-stop.
“Kasi yun yung number one focus naman namin ngayon, yung defense namin.”
Justin Brownlee carries Ginebra to bounce back OT win over San Miguel
Lester Prosper looks to be with Columbian ‘for the long run’
Jerramy King still working his way back to Columbian
De Guzman lifts PLDT to bounce back win; Army, Navy create tie at fourth
Ateneo Lady Eagles in unison: ‘Sisi Rondina made everything so much harder’
Mighty Sports taps Mikey Williams, Aaron Black for Jones Cup
Tolentino siblings made sure to bring glory to Ateneo in final years
Kat Tolentino leaves Ateneo at peace
Saldua’s putback, Robles’ swat pave way for Davao Occidental’s escape of Zamboanga
Collado, Gabo connive as Basilan Steel give Bicol rude MPBL welcome
Motolite picks up first win at skidding Bali Pure’s expense
PacificTown-Army ends first round at solo third, outlasts BanKo
- News5 days ago
Kalei Mau transfers to F2 Logistics as UVC disbands
- News4 days ago
Bryan Bagunas signs with Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler
- News4 days ago
Kalei Mau on choosing F2: ‘I thought about what team will benefit me as a player’
- Basketball4 days ago
Alex Nuyles gets a new lease on life with Bicol Volcanoes