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Tiebreaker Times


PBA: Castro-powered TNT spoils JMF’s coronation, evens Finals series at two

TNT made sure to give Chot Reyes a fitting welcome, turning in a near-flawless outing on the way to dealing San Miguel a 100-87 beating to even the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, Sunday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Jayson Castro led the reigning champs with a game-high 26 points, alongside six rebounds and four assists as he starred in the second-half breakaway to end their two-game funk and prevent falling to a precarious position in the series.

“When we lose today, mahirap na makabangon from 3-1,” said the 36-year-old, who shot 76-percent from the field. “Kalaban mo pa San Miguel, napakahirap. Binigyan lang namin ng chance sarili namin maka-tabla.”

Roger Pogoy fired 21 points in the victory that saw the Tropang Giga commit only three turnovers, the fewest ever in league history.

“We had a lot of turnovers last game, 24 turnovers. So that was No. 1 on the list heading towards this game. So we’re quite happy with the way that the players responded,” said coach Sandy Arespacochaga.

Mikey Williams supplied 15 points, including 11 in the first half where TNT went off to a great start and led by 18 points, 34-16, before having to keep the opposition at bay in the last 24 minutes of the match.

Kelly Williams added 14 markers as he was part of the welcoming committee for Reyes, who’s back in the fold after mentoring Gilas Pilipinas against Lebanon in the FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers’ fourth window in Beirut.

TNT not only tied the title bout but spoiled as well the coronation of June Mar Fajardo, who was named the Best Player of the Conference prior.

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Now a winner of nine BPC awards, the six-time MVP fell short of another 20-20 outing as he had 20 points and 19 rebounds to lead SMB.,

Simon Enciso had 15 points. Marcio Lassiter had 14 points, while CJ Perez added 13 markers in the defeat.

Game Five is on Wednesday at the Big Dome, still.

The Scores:

TNT 100 – Castro 26, Pogoy 21, M.Williams 15, K.Williams 14, Erram 8, Khobuntin 7, Montalbo 3, Rosario 2, Marcelo 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Reyes 0, Alejandro 0.

San Miguel 87 – Fajardo 20, Enciso 15, Lassiter 14, Perez 13, Tautuaa 13, Cruz 6, Brondial 3, Ross 2, Manuel 1, Herndon 0, Pessumal 0.

Quarterscores: 18-9, 43-36, 72-63, 100-87.

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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