Jayson Castro made it up for a failed FIBA OQT campaign and poured all of his frustrations in TNT Ka-Tropa’s maiden victory in the PBA season-ending conference Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Castro sank a cold-blooded trey to break a 98-all deadlock and capped off an 11-0 windup for TNT that was enough to turn back Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 101-98.
The back-to-back FIBA Asia’s Best Point Guard went on to finish with a double-double of 19 markers and 10 dimes while their reinforcements American Mario Little and Syrian Michael Madanly came through with 18 and 17 points, respectively, in TNT’s magnificent comeback.
Rain or Shine blew several chances to get back into the game after losing an 8-point lead.
Castro was whistled for a deliberate foul on Gabe Norwood in the final 2.5 seconds. But the Fil-Am forward muffed the two pressure-packed free throws then Paul Lee turned the ball over off the inbound that sealed their doom.
TNT held Rain or Shine scoreless in the final 6:18 of the game to gut out the victory.
“It’s good we’re able to survive this game,” Uichico said.
Comebacking import Dior Lowhorn patrolled the paint well for Coach Yeng Guiao-led squad with 20 points and 10 rebounds while JR Quiñahan and Lee added 16 and 13 respectively. – By John Bryan Ulanday