The TNT KaTropa blew an 18-point lead but recovered just in time to down Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 103-96, and level their Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series at 1-1 on Wednesday at Batangas City Coliseum.
Jayson Castro finished with a double-double of 20 points and 10 assists while import Glen Rice Jr. scored 21 points despite battling foul trouble to lead TNT’s bounce-back from a humiliating 121-94 defeat to Ginebra in Game One.
RR Pogoy added 14 points and five boards as Mo Tautuaa contributed 10 points and five boards.
Starting the game with a big lineup, TNT dominated the first quarter and shackled the Gin Kings who committed 12 turnovers in the first 12 minutes.
KaTropa established their biggest lead at 18, 33-15, before Ginebra woke up and came back right before the halftime buzzer.
The Gin Kings outscored TNT, 33-18, in the second frame as a blistering run capped by a booming Justin Brownlee triple pulled them to within just two, 49-47. The import poured in 17 of his 25 points in the first half.
Ginebra finally took the driver’s seat after Japeth Aguilar sank a jumper for a 51-50 lead in the early moments of the third quarter.
Things weren’t looking good for TNT as Rice was forced to spend the entire period on the bench due to his four fouls.
But KaTropa surprisingly performed well without him, unleashing a 12-2 run to regain control of the game, 65-55.
A well-rested Rice took over in the final canto, scoring 14 points in the period as TNT never relinquished its cushion.
Game Three is set on Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.