Coming in as the favorite to win the series, TNT star guard Jayson Castro’s worst fear came true in Game 3 as Meralco was on target with its three-shooting on Saturday.
The Bolts were red-hot from the three-point arc, connecting on a franchise-record 17 triples as they shocked Castro and the Katropa, 119-113 to seize control of the semifinal series, 2-1.
“Yun naman yung sinasabi ko na tatalunin nila (Bolts) kami sa outside. Huwag lang sa paint, yun nga yung nangyari,” said Castro. “Para sa kanila talaga yun, deserved nila.”
Though the “Blur” had his usual offensive night, finishing with 28 points, the Bolts amplified their late run at crunch time with highlight shows from Chris Newsome’s back-to-back dunks and Reynel Hugnatan’s late-game threes.
But the top MVP candidate for the season remained confident of TNT’s Finals chances, even if the Katropa will have to win twice to earn a trip to the Governors Cup best-of-seven championship series.
“Pumasok lang early yung mga outside nila so siguro konting adjustments lang, di naman major kasi andun naman yung mga defense namin tsaka hustle and rebounding,” he said.
Their first back-to-back loss in the conference may come at a crucial point of the semis, but Castro said the challenge is still with Meralco if they can repeat their hot streak in the three-point line.
“Wala naman, kasi race-to-three (wins) ‘to di ba? Kung sino unang maka-tatlo,” he said. “Tingnan natin kung papasok pa rin yung mga outside shots nila next game.” – Jason Mercene
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