TNT moves 1 win away from semis with 102-84 rout of Meralco

PBA Media Bureai

TNT KaTropa import Joshua Smith was suffering from a bum stomach, but would not let his teammates do all the work.

“I wasn’t a hundred percent today, but I wasn’t going to let my teammates go out there by themselves,” said Smith. “I wanted to help them out.”

Smith sure did, helping the KaTropa deal the Meralco Bolts a 102-84 drubbing Monday at the start of their quarterfinals duel in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Jayson Castro scattered a game-high 25 points and joined hands while Smith came off the bench for 19 points in leading a balanced attack that netted TNT as much as a 93-69 spread.

The duel resumes Wednesday with TNT needing just another win to earn the right to face the winner of the other quarterfinals pairing between Barangay Ginebra and GlobalPort.

“I think offensively we were just blessed to have contributions from almost everybody. That doesn’t normally happen,” said KaTropa coach Nash Racela. – PBA

The scores:

TNT 102 – Castro 25, Smith 19, Tautuaa 13, Rosario 9, Garcia 9, Reyes 6, Semerad 5, Pogoy 4, Nuyles 2, De Ocampo 0, Rosales 0, Golla 0, Carey 0.

MERALCO 84 – Newsome 21, Amer 14, Dillinger 12, Hugnatan 11, Yeo 10, Stepheson 9, Caram 3, Hodge 2, Uyloan 2, Faundo 0, Nabong 0, Bono 0.

Quarterscores: 25-13, 42-27, 69-59, 102-84.