TNT completes fightback, dethrones Magnolia to arrange semis clash with Meralco

TNT completed a major fightback in the payoff period capped by 2 crucial free throws by Bobby Ray Parks with 6 seconds left on the game clock to give the KaTropa the lead and eventually the win over defending champion Magnolia, 98-97, Monday night in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Down by 14, 92-78, with time down to 5:28 in the final frame, the KaTropa rattled off 20 points while holding down the Hotshots to 5 to stun the Chito Victolero-mentored squad and arrange a semis duel with sister team Meralco.

Jayson Castro proved to be the big difference as the 2-time best point guard in Asia scattered 30 points to lead TNT past the team that dealt them a 100-93 beating in Davao during the final game of the eliminations.

“What can I say. Suwerte lang. Nakita naman natin. Hindi namin inexpect na makakabalik pa kami. Inisip namin, next game na lang uli. Maybe it’s God’s plan,” said TNT coach Bong Ravena during the post-game presser.

KJ McDaniels contributed 25 points, 17 boards, 5 assists and 5 blocks which included the game-saving rejection on Romeo Travis during the Hotshots’ last possession. Troy Rosario and Ryan Reyes added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Romeo paced last season’s Governors’ Cup champs with 32 points and 26 rebounds but missed the front end of two free throws which could’ve given his team a 2-point lead in the closing seconds of the ballgame. Rome dela Rosa had 13 markers while Jio Jalalon chipped in 12.

The scores:

TNT 98 – Castro 30, McDaniels 25, Rosario 12, Reyes 10, Pogoy 8, Parks 7, DiGregorio 6, Williams 0.

Magnolia 97 – Travis 32, Dela Rosa 13, Jalalon 12, Lee 11, Barroca 9, Banchero 8, Sangalang 7, Pingris 4, Melton 1, Reavis 0.

Quarterscores: 22-26, 48-54, 66-80, 98-97.

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