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PBA: TNT survives Phoenix

Game Today
(Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City)
5 p.m. – Ginebra vs Alaska

Glen Rice Jr. repaid the faith of coach Nash Racela while Jayson Castro suited up in the second half despite an injury and TNT KaTropa overcame the Brandon Brown-led Phoenix Fuel Masters, 110-103, yesterday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Rice had 38 points, nine rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks as he bounced back from a lackluster debut in Sunday’s lopsided loss to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to give the KaTropa their third win in five games in the season-ending conference.

The son of former NBA All-Star Glen Rice went 6-of-22 from the field for just 19 points in TNT’s 105-73 defeat to Rain or Shine.

Brown scored 49 points in his most productive outing since coming over to fill in for the injured Eugene Phelps, but it was not enough for Phoenix to avoid a sixth consecutive loss after a 2-0 start.

Brown and Rice engaged in a scoring battle in the third with the former dropping 20 and the latter 18, but the KaTropa went into the fourth taking an 86-79 lead.

“We went to this game with the hope of Glen playing a lot better than he did in the first game, and he did, he really helped the team,” Racela said of Rice, the son of former NBA All-Star Glen Rice.

Castro, a game-time decision after sustaining a bruised game in Gilas Pilipinas’ game against Jordan in the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon over the weekend, suited up in the second half and finished with 11 points and three rebounds.

“We knew we would play Roger, but not really sure of Jayson. But when Jayson gave me a signal na okay daw siya, then we gambled on using him,” Racela mentioned.

“Well this team is about making sacrifices, they’ve done their part sacrificing for the national cause and right away sakripisyo kaagad sila para sa (TNT). Again its not easy for them, but they still decided to play and that’s greatly appreciated by the team and their teammates.”

Pogoy added 13 points, including a basket off a drop pass by Ranidel de Ocampo that gave TNT a 107-101 lead with 1:46 lead, making it tough for Phoenix to make a comeback.

Kelly Williams was the top local scorer with 18 points.

First Game
TNT KATROPA 110 – Rice 38, Williams 18, De Ocampo 14, Pogoy 13, Castro 11, Semerad 7, Tautuaa 7, Lingganay 2, Reyes 0, Carey 0, Hernandez 0.

PHOENIX 103 – Brown 49, Eriobu 12, Wright 11, Intal 10, Jazul 8, Chan 5, Alolino 4, Kramer 2, Wilson J. 2, Dehesa 0.
Quarters: 25-23; 46-49; 86-79; 110-103.

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