TNT gains twice-to-beat, edges San Miguel Beer
ANTIPOLO—TNT won an enthralling endgame shootout with San Miguel Beer on Wednesday night and booked the last twice-to-beat berth in the first round of the PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs after a 114-109 victory at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The KaTropa got the goods from import KJ McDaniels in the wild finish as TNT arrested a three-game slide to close out with an 8-3 record and bag No. 3 seeding while pushing the Grand Slam-seeking Beermen to a very precarious position in the quarterfinals.
The TNT win meant that idle Barangay Ginebra sld to No. 4 and with a win-once bonus over the Beermen, who are going into the quarterfinals as the fifth seeds.
McDaniels finished with 44 points, while highlighting his night with a huge block off a three-point try to San Miguel counterpart John Holland which led to the two insurance free throws from Ryan Reyes with eight seconds left.
San Miguel roared back from 18 points down despite playing without three locals, counting former MVP Arwind Santos, and even took the lead, 108-107 off a Holland triple heading into the final 44.1 ticks.
“We waited a long time for this (twice-to-beat privilege),” ace forward Troy Rosario, who scored 30 points, said in Filipino, referring to the win that snapped a three-game losing streak that came after the KaTropa had opened up with seven straight wins and were practically conceded a top four berth.
Jason Castro returned to active duty and shot 12 points that went with 11 assists and eight rebounds.
“We really need Jason on the floor, he’s the heart of this team,” said coach Bong Ravena, who also got 17 points from RR Pogoy.
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