TNT KaTropa almost became the 2nd victim of KIA Picanto but timely hits by RR Garcia pulled the team out of danger and back into the winning column with a 90-85 victory in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup, Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The flagship team of the MVP group saw a stubborn KIA even take the lead in the 3rd before proving to be the steadier team down the stretch to pull off the win.
Jayson Castro and Kelly Williams carried the fight for the KaTropa for most parts of the game but it was Garcia who delivered the telling blows in the form of back-to-back layups to give TNT more breathing room at 89-83 with just 44 seconds left in the game.
The KaTropa improved to 4-3 while the loss further buried KIA down the standings at 1-6.
“I was saying to my team that KIA is unpredictable and dangerous, I don’t think our players got that message for today’s game. We were cruising along and Kia really played well.” said TNT head coach Nash Racela during the post-game interview.
Williams displayed vintage form and finished with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in 32 minutes of action. Castro added 22 points while fit-again Garcia contributed 13.
Rashawn McCarthy once again led KIA with 21 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 1 steal in 36 minutes of playing time while Jackson Corpuz had a solid return from injury finishing with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks.
TNT 90 – Williams 23, Castro 22, Garcia 13, Torres 7, Semerad 7, Rosario 6, Pogoy 5, Carey 3, Reyes 2, Onwubere 2, Hernandez 0.
KIA 85 – McCarthy 21, Corpuz 17, Galanza 9, Camson 8, Yee 7, Khobuntin 6, Lastimosa 5, Escoto 5, Tubid 3, Gabriel 2, Sara 2, Ababou 0.
Quarterscores: 28-24, 42-39, 69-62, 90-85.