TNT KaTropa got its groove back as it clipped the Barangay Ginebra, 103-96, in the Game Two of their 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals showdown at the Batangas City Coliseum Wednesday night.
The KaTropa squandered an 18-point first-quarter lead but regained their form in the second half to bounce back from an awful Game One loss, leveling out the best-of-five series at one game apiece.
After sitting out the whole third period due to foul trouble, TNT import Glen Rice, Jr. didn’t hold back in the final frame, uncorking 14 of his team-high 21 points to give his team enough breathing room.
Despite playing all-Filipino in the third quarter, the KaTropa managed keep Ginebra at bay, 76-69, behind Jayson Castro who came through with a double-double of 20 points and 10 assists.
Troy Rosario provided 16 points and eight rebounds, while Roger Pogoy and Moala Tautuaa completed the KaTropa locals in twin digits, scoring 14 and 10 markers, respectively.
Ginebra climbed out of an early 18-point hole to finally gained control of the game, 51-50, early in the second half. But it turned out to be its first and last taste of the lead as the TNT KaTropa immediately broke out of the dry spell by unleashing a 12-2 run to erect a 10-point spread that it never relinquished.
Justin Brownlee led the defending champion with 25 points and 10 rebounds. LA Tenorio chipped in 17 points, seven boards, and six dimes, Japeth Aguilar had 14 points and nine caroms, while Sol Mercado added 14 markers as he knocked down four triples.
As PBA goes back to Smart-Araneta Coliseum for Game 3 on Friday, October 6, both teams will try to go for commanding 2-1 series lead.
TNT 103 – Rice 21, Castro 20, Rosario 16, Pogoy 14, Tautuaa 10, Williams 7, Semerad 5, Seigle 4, Chua 2, Reyes 2, Hernandez 1, Nuyles 1, Lingganay 0.
GINEBRA 96 – Brownlee 25, Tenorio 17, Aguilar 14, Mercado 14, Slaughter 8, Thompson 8, Cruz 4, Devance 4, Caguioa 2, Mariano 0, Taha 0.
Quarter scores: 31-14, 49-47, 76-69, 103-96.