Glen Rice Jr. sank the go-ahead basket off while Beau Belga turned the ball over in the dying seconds as TNT nosed out Rain or Shine, 118-114 in their do-or-die match to advance to the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
- Rice to the rescue: With the game tied at 114-114, Rice came out of nowhere to grab the airball three-point attempt of Jayson Castro as he puts it in to give TNT the lead for good at 116-114 with 10 seconds to go.
- Chance to send it to OT: Following its last timeout, Rain or Shine import J’Nathan Bullock drove to the foul line then made the bounce pass to Beau Belga, who wasn’t expecting it, forcing the bulky big man to make a bad pass that landed in Rice’s hands. Ryan Reyes caught the ball at mid-court off a long pass by Rice with the TNT guard fouled by Bullock with just 1.4 seconds to go. Reyes made both foul shots to seal the quarterfinal win.
- Face off with Ginebra: TNT, the no. 2 seed in the quarterfinals, earned the right to face defending champion Barangay Ginebra in the best-of-5 semifinals that starts on Monday. The Katropa routed the Kings, 121-92 in their only meeting this conference.
- Charged-up Katropa: Rice fell 1 assist shy of a triple-double after finishing with 34 points, 16 rebounds and 9 assists, while Jayson Castro earned Best player honors after registerin a double-double of 20 points and 12 assists. Jeth Troy Rosario added 18, while Roger Pogoy had 16 for the Katropa.
- Wasted effort: Bullock fouled out after contributing 30 points, while the loss also put to waste Beau Belga’s 18-point,14-rebound effort of the bench.
- Quote of the game: “Sorbang sarap ng panalo na ito. Give dreidt lang sa Rain or Shine kasi ang ganda ng efensive game plan nila sa amin. Buti na lang yung composure sa fourth quarter di nawawala at yun nagdala sa amin sa panalo.” TNT guard Jayson Castro
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