TROPANG TNT gained a huge boost from its franchise player as it pounced on a shorthanded Rain or Shine, 114-103, to finally gain some momentum in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Monday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Jayson Castro returned from a one-game absence due to an Achilles injury and picked up from where he left off, scattering a game-high 26 points, four assists, and four boards in 25 minutes off the bench to lead the Texters in notching their first back-to-back wins this conference.
TNT improved to an even 4-4 win-loss record to tie their victims, who missed suspended coach Yeng Guiao as well as Paul Lee after the ROS star suffered an early knee injury.
“At least were still there,” Texters coach Jong Uichico said. “Hopefully we can keep the energy we’re showing now.”
David Simon anchored the Texters with 20 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and two steals as he put up another efficient effort before fouling out in just 27 minutes for the Texters, who led from start to finish and by as many as 21 points, 101-79, early in the fourth period.
The result spoiled the stellar showing of JR Quinahan, who put up a career-high 25 points on top of 12 boards in 29 minutes off the bench to pace the E-Painters in a losing effort.
Jericho Cruz also delivered as a non-starter, but some of his 13 fourth-quarter points came in garbage time.
Mo Charlo added 22 points and eight boards, but the ROS import again looked tentative at times as he took just 10 shots, although he had 16 free-throw attempts in 43 minutes.
TNT 114 - Castro 26, Simon 20, Reyes J. 12, Reyes R. 12, Ababaou 11, Rosario 11, Carey 7, Williams 6, Tautuaa 4, De Ocampo 3, Rosser 2
Rain or Shine 103 – Quinahan 25, Charlo 22, Cruz 21, Ahanmisi 11, Norwood 8, Chan 5, Almazan 4, Tiu 3, Belga 2, Ibanes 2, Lee 0, Nimes 0, Ponferada 0, Trollano 0
Quarterscores: 31-23, 59-44, 92-75, 114-103