Getting another stellar performance from Jayson Castro, TNT Katropa kept its unbeaten record intact by eking out a 101-95 win over NLEX in the PBA Governors’ Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Showing the form that has made him a two-time member of the FIBA-Asia Championship Mythical Five, Castro erupted for 23 points, 11 of which came in the final quarter.
Import Mario Little also had decent numbers as TNT extended its winning streak to four games.
He churned in 18 markers, including a lethal three-point shot off a perfect assist by Castro that gave Katropa a 100-95 buffer with just a 23.2 seconds remaining.
The Road Warriors never recovered from that jolt and absorbed their third straight defeat since winning their opening game assignment.
Meantime, fans were caught by surprise when Senator Manny Pacquiao and Mahindra playing-coach played in the last three minutes of the first quarter in their game against the Alaska Aces.
And they groaned in unison after the boxing icon missed his target terribly from 15 feet. The game was still playing at presstime.
TNT Coach Jong Uichico was pleased with the win despite going through the proverbial eye of the needle.
“We’re just winning close games,” said Uichico as his team won three games in thrilling finishes, against Rain or Shine (101-98), Meralco (98-85) and Alaska (120-118).
“We’re just hanging in there, we don’t give up we just keep playing. We’re just playing hard, poised and disciplined. All our games are close, buti nakaka-lusot,” added Uichico.
TNT KATROPA 101 – Castro 23, Rosario 20, Little 18, Madanly 10, Rosales 8, Williams 7, De Ocampo 6, Reyes R. 5, Seigle 2, Tautuaa 2, Nuyles 0, Carey 0.
NLEX 95 – Walker 26, Taulava 14, Anthony 12, Villanueva J. 12, Baracael 10, Khobuntin 9, Akl 7, Arboleda 3, Villanueva E. 2, Lanete 0, Monfort 0, Reyes 0.
Quarters: 18-21, 44-48, 65-71, 101-95.