TNT KaTropa took advantage of a rusty Meralco Bolts squad to grab a 113-107 victory in the Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Glen Rice Jr. poured in 32 points and 11 boards while Jayson Castro fired 27 markers to help TNT improve to 5-3 and move closer to a top-four finish which guarantees a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Allen Durham had a monster game, tallying 39 points and 24 boards but his efforts went for naught as the Bolts slid to 5-2.
The KaTropa pounced on the sluggish Bolts who were coming off an 18-day break, zooming to an 18-7 advantage.
Rice went unstoppable in the first half as he scored 21 points in the first half. TNT enjoyed a 63-46 advantage at the break.
But the Bolts woke up in the third quarter, with Durham igniting a 20-8 run that pulled the Bolts to within two points, 78-76.
Chris Newsome hit two free throws to keep TNT within two, 107-105, with 1:42 remaining. But Rice countered with a big basket.
Castro then made a huge block on the triple of Jared Dillinger who got his final foul immediately right after the rejection. Castro sank two free throws to keep the game out of Meralco’s reach.
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.
Quarters: 29-17, 63-46, 89-84, 113-107.