TNT rode the hot hands of Jayson Castro as it remained unbeaten in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup as it outlasted Ginebra 96-92 on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Castro played like import as the speedy guard finished with 27 points, five assists and three steals to make up for the struggles of backcourt pal Terrence Romeo and import Jeremy Tyler.
Romeo finished with three points on 1-of-9 shooting while Tyler missed all of his five shots and finished with two points.
“I think at this point, the nice thing about having depth in the guard rotation (is that) when some guys struggle, we could use some of the others,” said TNT head coach Nash Racela.
Castro was at his best in a late 11-1 rally late in the game when the KaTropa started to take over the game for good against a Ginebra side that stuck it out with import Charlie Garcia.
With TNT trailing by one, Troy Rosario drained a three-pointer to wrest the lead, 81-79, before Castro drained back-to-back three-pointers with 4:51 to go.
The closest Ginebra got was 93-89 following an LA Tenorio trey but with 20 seconds left in the game, but there simply wasn't enough time to turn it around.
“It’s nice to win games at the start. It’s nice because it gives us a headstart, something that we didn’t have last conference. But mahaba pa ang komperensya. We’ll see,” Racela added.
Roger Pogoy also was solid off the bench for the KaTropa with 15 points as Rosario added 14 points and seven rebounds. Don Trollano also earned his stripes with 11 points in 21 minutes.
Joe Devance and Japeth Aguilar led Ginebra with 19 points apiece as Garcia continues to struggle, finishing with just 15 points on 3-of-11 shooting.
TNT 96 — Castro 27, Pogoy 15, Rosario 14, Trollano 11, Semerad 7, Taha 6, Cruz 5, Paredes 4, Romeo 3, Carey 2, Tyler 2, Garcia 0, Reyes 0.
GINEBRA 92 — J. Aguilar 19, Devance 19, Garcia 15, Tenorio 13, Mercado 8, Caperal 7, Thompson 5, Caguioa 2, Ferrer 2, Mariano 2.
Quarters: 27-22, 51-51, 73-69, 96-92.