Jayson Castro turned in a scintillating performance as he and his TNT KaTropa closed out the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings in style, 122-109, to enter the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals with a big win in Game 4 on Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Castro scored 38 points and dished out 11 assists in his best game of the series. He also hit 5-for-8 (62-percent) from three-point range in the game and was instrumental in sealing the win, scoring seven of the team’s points in an 11-0 run that put the game out of reach.
The KaTropa also got a huge effort from their import Joshua Smith, who visibly struggled with the foot injury that caused him to miss the entire second half of Game 3 but gutted it out to finish with 18 points in just 22 minutes of action.
RR Garcia chipped in 16 points from off the bench while Kelly Williams tallied a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The series seemed like it would be destined to go the distance when Ginebra, led by Japeth Aguilar, went on a 9-0 tear in the fourth quarter to grab a 103-98 lead with 8:51 remaining.
But veteran Ranidel De Ocampo delivered some big shots, tying the game with back-to-back baskets, including a booming triple.
LA Tenorio answered with a three on the other end before TNT went on an 8-0 run behind the play of Garcia and Williams.
Tenorio then hit a free throw to bring Ginebra within four, 111-107, before ‘The Blur’ hit some daggers to ensure the win.
Castro knocked down a three-pointer before finding Williams for a layup that made it a nine-point game, 116-107. He then stole the ball and streak to the other end for transition points before making a tough turnaround jumper over Tenorio to make it 120-107.
Williams’ two free throws at the 1:49 mark gave TNT its biggest lead of the ballgame at 15 points.
Aguilar led Ginebra with 31 points on 63-percent shooting. He also finished with seven rebounds and three blocks.
Import Justin Brownlee posted 25 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists for the Kings, who finished the elimination round as the No. 1 seed.