TNT stops Meralco in OT, step towards semis

TNT stood strong until last moment to stop Meralco in an overtime victory 104-96 and booked a ticket to 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Semi-finals on Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 30-year-old Jayson Castro dished out the game-tying freebie when just 5.1 seconds were left to push the game to overtime. The Blur made use of the extra period by dropping free throws to finish with 31 points and 27 boards for the KaTropa to earn the best-of-three quarterfinals series, 2-1. The Texters will clash against top seed Barangay Ginebra in best-of-five semi-finals, starting on Monday at Malls of Asia Arena.

Expressing his confidence in the team, Coach Nash Racela said –

“As a coach, you can’t really give up early. I know we were down but we said until it’s not over, we still have a chance,”

“We just wanted to force a turnover so the ball gets back to us and we’ll have a chance.”
“Good thing they fouled and we were able to force overtime,” He added.

Joshua Smith started badly in the opening minutes of overtime, however, notched good number with 31 points, 21 rebounds and four assists later. Castro finished with 31 points, three boards, two assists, three steals and one block in 38 minutes.

Baser Amer added 25 points along with 9 boards and 4 assists, while Roger Pogoy had 13 points and 3 blocks for TNT.

Bolts were lead by Alex Stephenson who dropped 13 points and 15 rebounds in the loss.

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