VETERAN Jayson Castro took matters into his own hands when it mattered most and nailed the clincher from the three-point zone that gave TNT TNT Tropang Giga a thrilling 93-92 win over Magnolia in Game 3 of their best-of-seven semifinals series in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Castro, 36, nailed the game-winner with 2.7 seconds in the game and before the outstretched arms of Mark Barocca, who earlier tied the game for the Hotshots and the lead, 92-90, with 11 seconds remaining.
The Tropang Giga now lead the best-of-seven series, 2-1.
“It turned out to be a good play because Jayson made the shot. It’s a quick inbound play after not deciding to foul,” TNT coach Chot Reyes. “We had no more left so we huddled during Magnolia’s timeout.”
“We almost lost, but we still won it in the end,” Reyes added.
John Paul Erram led TNT with 22 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks, while Castro finished with 16 points and six assists.
“I came into this game with a mission, but this is a team game,” Erram said. “I’m so thankful to Jayson [Castro] because at the end of the day, it’s the win that matters,”
Glenn Khobuntin added 15 points, while Mikey Williams also tallied 15 points, 10 assists and five rebounds also for TNT.
Paul Lee was a bad Hotshot from the three-point line all game long. His seventh triple attempt to snatch the game wend dud.
Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang scattered scattered 18 and 17 points, respectively, for Magnolia, before both fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Game 4 is set Wednesday in the same venue.