TNT tops Rain or Shine in KO thriller to punch last semis ticket

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PBA Media Bureau

TNT KaTropa outdueled the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in a pulsating 118-114 victory to book the last Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal ticket on Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Glen Rice Jr. flirted with a near triple-double of 34 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists while Jayson Castro collected 20 points, six boards and 12 assists to carry TNT which avoided squandering its twice-to-beat advantage in the No.2 versus No.7 quarterfinal matchup.

KaTropa will next face defending champions Barangay Ginebra in a best-of-five semifinal series starting on Monday.

The knockout game went down to the wire, with both teams raining it from downtown (14/34 for Rain or Shine, 12/37 for TNT) and trading big baskets after another.

The match was ultimately decided in the dying seconds. As the game was tied at 114-all with 41 seconds left, Rice scored a putback off a Castro airball triple to give TNT a slim two-point lead.

Rain or Shine then called its last timeout of the game but wasted it after import J’Nathan Bullock threw a bad pass to Beau Belga for a turnover.

Ryan Reyes hit two free throws with a second left to ice the win for KaTropa.

The semifinals will begin on Sunday with Meralco and Star slugging it out in their own best-of-five affair.

The scores:

TNT 118 – Rice Jr. 34, Castro 20, Rosario 18, Pogoy 16, Williams 10, Semerad 8, Reyes 5, Carey 4, Tautuaa 3, Nuyles 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 114 – Bullock 30, Belga 18, Borboran 15, Norwood 14, Cruz 11, Tiu 10, Ahanmisi 7, Trollano 5, Almazan 4, Ponferada 0.

Quarters: 27-27, 59-59, 85-86, 118-114.