TNT takes semis opener vs. Phoenix
By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– TNT took Game 1 of its PBA Philippine Cup semifinals against Phoenix with a 95-92 squeaker on Wednesday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Pampanga.
The Tropang Giga recovered from a slow first quarter by holding the Fuel Masters to just 13 points in the second quarter and dropping 31 in the third to take a 67-61 lead going to the fourth period.
Phoenix actually had two chances to force overtime, but Jason Perkins only made a split from the line with 6.7 seconds left and Alex Mallari’s three-pointer, after Jayson Castro’s eventual insurance free throws, only hit the back rim as time expired.
Castro finished with 20 points, six rebounds, six assists, and two steals off the bench for TNT, which took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Ray-Ray Parks bucked a slow start and contributed 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists, four steals, and one block.
Poy Erram chipped in a double-double of 15 markers and 14 boards with three dimes, two blocks, and one steal.
Jazul ended up with 21 points, two rebounds, one assist, and one steal for Phoenix, which saw its five-game winning streak snapped.
Perkins added 15 markers, 10 caroms, and three assists. (PNA)