TNT Katropa ADVANCE
Game Tomorrow (Alonte Sports Arena, Binan) 6:30 p.m. – Meralco vs Star Game Monday (Smart Araneta Coliseum) 7 p.m. – Ginebra vs TNT KaTropa
Glen Rice Jr. scored a go-ahead follow-up with 10.2 seconds left and TNT KaTropa escaped with a 118-114 victory over Rain or Shine in last night’s thrilling quarterfinals match to reach the semifinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Rice caught Jayson Castro’s wayward three in mid-air before converting the winning basket that broke a 114-all tie, before the KaTropa watched Elasto Painters import J’Nathan Bullock commit a bad pass that cemented the outcome.
“It was a good pass,” Rice joked of Castro’s attempt that led to his timely basket. Right place at the right time. No. 2-ranked TNT won an evening full of fouls and three-point shots to weather off seventh-seed Rain or Shine’s attempt to pull off the upset and arrange a best-offive semifinal series against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
Game 1 of their series starts on Monday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. The KaTropa carry the psychological advantage after their 121-92 rout of Ginebra exactly a week ago.
Defending champion Ginebra advanced to the semis after ending San Miguel’s Grand Slam dream, 104-84, last Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Coach Nash Racela is not expecting the same outcome as in their previous encounter, saying Ginebra will be a tough nut to crack.
Rice finished with 34 points, 16 rebounds, and nine assists in another demonstration of how TNT has been a mean force since replacing original reinforcement Michael Craig in the fourth game of the elimination round.
Bullock scored 30 points for the Elasto Painters, who came back from a four-point deficit to score six straight points and take the lead, 116-114.
Castro tied the score with two foul shots, then Rain or Shine’s Jericho Cruz missed a layup that could have given Rain or Shine the lead back, setting the stage for Rice’s winner.
TNT 118 – Rice Jr. 34, Castro 20, Rosario 18, Pogoy 16, Williams 10, Semerad 8, Reyes 5, Carey 4, Tautuaa 3, Nuyles 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 114 – Bullock 30, Belga 18, Borboran 15, Norwood 14, Cruz 11, Tiu 10, Ahanmisi 7, Trollano 5, Almazan 4, Ponferada 0.
Quarters: 27-27, 59-59, 85-86, 118114.
EMILIO Aguinaldo College’s Sidney Onwubere drives against Letran’s Bong Quinto during their NCAA game yesterday at The Arena in San Juan City. The Knights won, 84-78.