PBA: Jayson Castro leads TNT past Magnolia, back to finals
MANILA, Philippines—Defending champion TNT rode once again on the old hands of Jayson Castro to finish off Magnolia, 87-74, and advance to the PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Back to the lead role with Mikey Williams enduring the Hotshots’ defense since the start of the semifinals, Castro fired 26 points as the Tropang Giga won the series, 4-2.
Castro made 11 in the third quarter to put TNT in control, then knocked down a three-pointer with 2:48 to go in the fourth that made it 80-72 and ended any chances of Magnolia forcing a deciding seventh game.
In getting the emotionally-charged affair, the Tropang Giga marched on the championship series where they’ll face either the Meralco Bolts or San Miguel Beermen.
Meralco and SMB dispute the other Finals berth on Wednesday, giving TNT more time to recharge its batteries.
Glenn Khobuntin also stepped up, particularly after Poy Erram was tossed early in the fourth with a Flagrant Foul 2 for hitting Ian Sangalang, and delivered 14 points and seven rebounds for TNT.
Magnolia absorbed a semis loss for the second straight conference, this time at the hands of a TNT side that beat them for last year’s title.
Calvin Abueva scored all of his 16 points in the first half but was once again in foul trouble, getting his sixth in the payoff period.
TNT 87 — Castro 26, Williams M. 15, Pogoy 14, Khobuntin 11, Erram 8, Williams K. 4, Rosario 4, Montalbo 2, Reyes 0, Marcelo 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
MAGNOLIA 74 — Sangalang 16, Abueva 16, Jalalon 11, Lee 10, Dela Rosa 6, Laput 4, Wong 3, Barroca 3, Dionisio 2, Escoto 2, Corpuz 1, Brill 1, Reavis 0, Ahanmisi 0, Zaldivar 0.
Quarters: 21-17, 42-34, 60-55, 87-74.