TNT KaTropa did just enough in Wednesday’s matchup with the Meralco Bolts to earn a 113-107 victory in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. With the win and a 5-3 slate, TNT moved a step closer from booking a playoffs seat, while sending its sister team to its second loss in seven games.
Glen Rice Jr. had his usual output of 32 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists. Jayson Castro topped the locals with 27 markers in 8 of 13 shooting along with three dimes, while Kelly Williams finished with a double-double of 16 points and 13 boards for TNT.
Wanting to bounce back from a close defeat at the hands of GlobalPort, the KaTropa played stellar in the first half and looked poised to break the game wide open after building a 21-point barrier before settling with a 63-46 halftime lead.
But the Durham-led Bolts, who seemed a little out of sync in their first game since August 18, found their groove in the third canto, exploding for 38 huge points to cut the deficit to just five, 89-84, heading into the final frame.
Meralco kept it a close affair in the payoff period and was only trailing by two, 107-105, inside the last two-minute mark. But that served to be its last stand as TNT came through with a 6-2 finishing kick to seal the victory.
Reigning Best Import Allen Durham put up another solid performance of 39 points, 24 boards and four assists. But his effort went for naught as Baser Amer was the lone Meralco local in double figures with 21 markers alongside four dimes.
The final scoreboard result:
TNT 113 – Rice Jr. 32, Castro 27, Williams 16, Pogoy 11, Rosario 7, De Ocampo 6, Semerad 5, Reyes 5, Tautuaa 4, Seigle 0.
MERALCO 107 – Durham 39, Amer 21, Tolomia 9, Lanete 9, Dillinger 8, Hugnatan 7, Newsome 6, Hodge 4, Caram 4, Nabong 0.
Quarter scores: 29-17, 63-46, 89-84, 113-107.