INSPIRED by its acknowledged leader and a hurting teammate who played through the pain, TnT Katropa found enough motivation to finish off Barangay Ginebra and seal the remaining berth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals.
Getting 38 big points from Jayson Castro and 18 hard-earned markers from injured import Joshua Smith, the Ka Tropa survived a gritty Gin Kings side and a partisan crowd at the Astrodome to hack out a dramatic 122-109 victory in Game Four of their semi-finals series Saturday night.
The Ka Tropa went on a 17-1 rampage midway in the payoff period to turn the game around and finally take the fight out off the top-seeded Kings.
Castro had a huge hands on it as he poured in 10 of his output during that stretch in collusion with veteran big man Kelly Williams, who scored eight of his 14 markers in the run that erased a three-point deficit and put TnT ahead for good, 120-107.
The telecommunication franchise wrapped up the best-of-five series, 3-1 and arranged a showdown with mighty San Miguel in its first final appearance since winning the 2015 edition of this same tournament. – PBA
TNT 122 – Castro 38, Smith 18, Garcia 16, Williams 14, Pogoy 13, De Ocampo 9, Semerad 5, Tautuaa 4, Reyes 3, Rosales 2, Rosario 0.
GINEBRA 109 – Aguilar 31, Brownlee 25, Tenorio 20, Devance 14, Thompson 10, Ellis 6, Marcelo 2, Mercado 1, Ferrer 0.
Quarterscores: 29-35, 66-63, 95-92, 122-109.