27 September 2016

Bolts 95, KaTropa 113

Bolts Lost
There was no big-time explosion from Jayson Castro last 27 September.

Just a methodical all-around performance that helped TNT Ka Tropa trump Meralco 113-95 at the start of their PBA Governors Cup semifinals duel at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Michael Madanly scored 20 of his team high 22 points in the second half, Troy Rosario provided the early sustaining fire en route to a 16-point night and Mychal Ammons also came alive in the last two periods for 15 points.

Clearly, however, it was Castro getting to read what was being offered him by the defense and leading a critical third quarter breakaway that enabled the Texters to take the emphatic headstart in the best-of-five series.

TNT coach Jong Uichico was quick to shrug off the win, however.

"It’s just the first game," said Uichico. "It's a series and we need three wins. Still a long way to go."

The fact the Texters got off on the right foot in their quest to a first title since last season’s Commissioner’s Cup has become even more realizable now with the win that was in the bag since they posted a 113-89 bulge.

Castro remains a vital cog in that continuing drive, notwithstanding a night when he scored just 14 points on 3-for-15 shooting, a far cry from his 42-point game against Phoenix in the quarterfinals when he made 14 of 26 attempts.

Castro did have nine assists, five coming in the third quarter when he presided over a steady surge that saw TNT break off from the seventh and last deadlock at 45.

He even scattered seven of his points in that frame to complement Madanly’s nine as the Texters stretched
their lead to 84-63 before going into the final canto with a 17-point spread.

"Jayson has been our pillar," said Uichico of Castro. "He has been known before as a scoring guard but he has developed both facets of his game, scoring and at the same time get his teammates involved."

Allen Durham led everybody with 26 points and 21 boards, but got visibly worn down in the end by the three defenders Uichico threw at him.

Unlike the Texters’ more balanced offense, the Bolts only had Cliff Hodge and Jared Dillinger finishing in double figures with 16 and 12, but the latter missed his first seven shots before finishing the game 5-for-15 from the field.

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