Castro-led TNT routs Meralco, nears semis
Jayson Castro scored a game-high 25 points and TNT blasted Meralco, 102-84, to move one win away from the semifinals in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Monday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Castro did it all as he also finished with six rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks for the KaTropa, who will go for a sweep in their best-of-three quarterfinals series on Wednesday.
“I think offensively, we were just blessed to have contributions from almost everybody today. It doesn’t normally happen, but at least today, it really helped us, guys contributing,” said TNT head coach Nash Racela. “Defensively, I think it was very decent today, made it hard for Meralco to make their shots.”
TNT had five other players with at least nine points. Import Joshua Smith posted 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field that went with three rebounds and three assists in only less than 19 minutes off the bench.
KaTropa big men Kelly Williams and Mo Tautuaa combined for 23 points and 16 rebounds while Troy Rosario and RR Garcia tallied nine points each.
Chris Newsome led the Bolts in scoring with 21 points as Alex Stepheson managed just nine points on 4-of-11 from the field and 16 rebounds.
Down big early, Meralco battled back to pull to within striking distance in the third quarter before Castro led a fourth-quarter breakaway that pushed TNT’s lead to as high as 24.
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