ANTIPOLO - Jayson Castro made the Ynares Center his personal playground as TNT Katropa outdueled Phoenix, 136-124, to complete the semifinal cast of the PBA Governors' Cup on Saturday night.
Proving why he is the Best Player of the Conference race frontrunner, the Texters superstar lit up the scoreboard for 42 points, two shy of his career high, to lead his team past the eighth-seeded Fuel Masters.
The Texters now set affinity aside as they face sister squad Meralco in the Final Four starting Tuesday. Two other sister teams, SMB and Ginebra, clash in the other best-of-five semifinal series beginning on
“We just moved to the next round. It’s all that happened today,” TNT coach Jong Uichico stressed. “We defended well and we were able to score.”
Castro spearheaded the offensive onslaught, amazingly scoring his entire output in just 27 minutes of play, shooting 14-of-26 from the field, including five three-pointers, and 9-of-12 from the foul line.
The Gilas Pilipinas star could’ve surpassed his career high had he not been pulled out with over six minutes left in the final frame.
Most of the Texters also found their targets as five other players scored in twin digits, giving import Mychal Ammons the luxury to carry a light load, scoring just seven points on top of 13 boards, two
assists, and one steal in 23 minutes.
The Texters saw a tough challenge from the Fuel Masters, who were still leading halfway through the third quarter of the high-scoring affair, before TNT turned it up a notch to suddenly pull away and
coast to the win.
Eugene Phelps sustained his sizzling play with 39 points and 17 boards, while Lee Gwan Hee added 24 points, six boards, and three assists, but the Fuel Masters import found little help from the locals
as JC Intal was held to two points and Willy Wilson wound up scoreless in 22 minutes.