TNT ends skid; Ginebra on top
The KaTropa survived the Columbian Dyip in overtime, 118-114, on Sunday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup with minimal help from Stacy Davis to break out of a slump that forced team management to place head coach Nash Racela on leave.
“It’s taking him (Davis) a long time to adopt (to our system). We have decided to replace him,” said TNT assistant coach Eric Gonzales, who temporarily took over Racela.
After dropping three straight games, the last two by an average losing margin of 29.5 points, TNT bigwigs have put Racela on forced leave following the team’s worst start in years.
The KaTropa stopped the slide for their only second win in six games, but not after the Dyip gave them a huge scare in extra time.
Jayson Castro nailed the go-ahead three and Terrence Romeo scored on a drive against Rashawn McCarthy for a 117-114 lead, before Castro forced import Akeem Wright into committing a decisive turnover that finished off the Dyip for good.
Jerramy King fired four threes and had 26 points while Wright added 24 points, nine rebounds and nine assists but threw the ball away nine times, including that final play that kept Columbian winless in five starts.
Barangay Ginebra later improved to 2-0 and climbed to a share of the lead with idle sister team Magnolia after pinning a first loss on Alaska, 109-101.
It was the Aces’ first defeat in three games.
For the fourth straight game, Davis had little contribution to the TNT cause and wasn’t even fielded in late in the final quarter when the KaTropa were trying to fend off the Dyip.
“Team management is working on his replacement,” said Gonzales.
Davis had 11 points, four rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes, numbers that the KaTropa find unacceptable.
The KaTropa will have the luxury of choosing the perfect import for them as the league takes a long break after Wednesday’s games to give way to the Fiba World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers where Gilas Pilipinas faces Iran and Qatar.
“We have to take advantage of the long break and prepare for our next game,” said Gonzales.
TNT won’t see action until Sept. 22 in Passi, Iloilo City, where it faces the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, who will open their conference after lending their core to the national team in the Asian Games.
After Wednesday’s double header at Smart Araneta Coliseum where San Miguel Beer takes on Blackwater at 4:30 p.m and Barangay Ginebra faces NorthPort at 7 p.m., the PBA resumes on Sept. 19.
The First Game scores:
TNT 118—Castro 25, Romeo 22, Pogoy 16, Semerad 15, Davis 11, Garcia 9, Rosario 7, Williams 4, Trollano 3, Cruz 2, Paredes 2, Carey 2, Reyes 0, Golla 0.
COLUMBIAN 114—King 26, Wright 24, McCarthy 18, Escoto 15, Camson 6, Lastimosa 6, Ababou 5, Khobuntin 4, Gabriel 4, Cabrera 3, Reyes 2, Sara 1, Cahilig 0.
Quarters: 40-26, 61-48, 84-77, 107-107 (reg.), 118-114 (OT)
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