TNT Ka­t­ropa AD­VANCE

Tempo - - Sports - By JONAS TERRADO

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.

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