With the game tied at 73-all entering the final quarter, David Simon sparked a huge fourth quarter rally to notch an all-important victory over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 107-92, to tie the latter in the standings, Wednesday evening at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Simon notched a double-double with 30 points, on an excellent 11/19 shooting from the field, and 14 boards in this crucial win. In addition, leading Rookie of the Year candidate Troy Rosario complemented the effort with 22 markers.
TNT limited their opponents to just five points in the first six minutes of the final quarter that turned a tied game to a ten-point lead, 88-78, that broke the game wide open.
“We were just able to play better in the fourth quarter,” the soft-spoken head coach of TNT, Jong Uichico, said after the win.
The troika of Rosario, Simon, and Kelly Williams continued to bombard Ginebra from all angles up until the final buzzer sounded, as the lead grew to a game-high 17 points, 107-90, with 28 ticks remaining.
Ginebra import Othyus Jeffers, who had 29 points and 16 boards in the game, made a living on the foul stripe during the third canto that helped Ginebra keep pace with TNT.
The twin tower combination of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar scored 12 apiece with Slaughter grabbing 11 boards, swatting away two shots, and making two steals as well.
Even if they were out-rebounded 51-42, TNT more than made up for it by knocking down 12 threes in the game. Rosario knocked down a career-high five triples, while Ryan Reyes, Ranidel De Ocampo, and Jayson Castro had two each. Ginebra were a dismal 3/14 from distance.
“We needed this win, both teams came out to play,” Uichico emphasized, as TNT are now tied with Ginebra at fourth place with a 5-4 slate. “We were able to make shots and make stops.”
Tropang TNT (5-4) look to carry their momentum on Saturday, April 9 as they face the Mahindra Enforcers in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. On the other hand, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (5-4) look to bounce back as they face the San Miguel Beermen at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
TNT (107) – Simon 30, Rosario 22, Tautuaa 12, Castro 10, De Ocampo 8, Rosser 8, Reyes R. 6, Williams 4, Reyes J. 3, Ababou 2, Carey 2.
Ginebra (92) – Jeffers 29, Aguilar 12, Slaughter 12, Ellis 10, Mercado 7, Devance 6, Caguioa 5, Tenorio 5, Marcelo 4, Thompson 2, Mariano 0.
Quarterscores: 23-20, 46-47, 73-73, 107-92