TNT leaned on a Jayson Castro-led final-quarter tear to deal San Miguel a 104-93 defeat on Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Castro exploded with 24 points, 11 assists, and four steals as the KaTropa snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Beermen and posted a second win after a 0-2 start to the season.
TNT’s last victory over San Miguel was Game Five of the Commissioner’s Cup Finals last June 28, 2017, according to PBA statistics chief Fidel Mangonon.
The game was the first for both teams since they struck a blockbuster deal that saw Terrence Romeo move to San Miguel in exchange of Brian Heruela, David Semerad, and a future first-round draft pick.
However, Romeo was reduced into a spectator on the SMB bench due to an ankle injury.
Troy Rosario also made a big impact in his first game of the season after suffering a broken nose during the offseason, scoring 22 points.
Castro hit two shots over June Mar Fajardo while Kelly Williams drilled a three-pointer from right infront of the TNT bench as the KaTropa made the decisive run, 100-87, with four minutes left.
Christian Standhardinger had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Beermen, who are having an uneven campaign with two wins against two losses.
Von Pessumal posted a career-high with 23 points, but 17 turnovers - including five late in the game - doomed SMB's bid.
TNT 104 – Castro 24, Rosario 22, Reyes 14, Trollano 13, Williams 11, Pogoy 7, Heruela 5, Taha 4, Miranda 2, Carey 2, Golla 0.
San Miguel 93 – Standhardinger 24, Pessumal 23, Fajardo 22, Ross 11, Lassiter 11, Santos 2, Zamar 0, Nabong 0, Tubid 0.
Quarters: 25-27; 51-51; 82-76; 104-93.