MANILA – Jayson Castro won it for TNT Tropang Giga as he hit a three-pointer in the dying moments to give his team a 93-92 win over Magnolia Hotshots in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
In a game that saw Mikey Williams getting limited to just 15 points, Castro provided the clutch help for the Tropang Giga, burying a contested three-pointer with 2.4 seconds left to steal the win from the Hotshots.
Magnolia thought they had it when Mark Barroca broke a 90-all deadlock with a tough layup with 9.8 seconds and TNT already out of timeouts.
However, Castro showed heart in the end, running the full length of the court and quickly shooting a pull-up trey that swished in to the delight of the Tropang Giga fans.
With the Hotshots also out of timeouts, Paul Lee settled for a half court heave that only hit the backboard as the clock hit zeroes.
Poy Erram led TNT, now 2-1 up against Magnolia in the best-of-seven series, with 22 points, eight rebounds, one assist, two blocks, and three steals.
Castro added 16 points, two rebounds, and six assists off the bench.
Calvin Abueva led Magnolia with 18 points, five rebounds, and six assists, but he sat out the final 4:29 of the game as he incurred his sixth foul during that time.
In the nightcap, San Miguel Beermen maintained its composure against a gritty Meralco Bolts squad to take a 96-91 win.
Both teams engaged in a tight encounter with the largest just at 10 points by the Beermen early in the fourth quarter.
However, behind a stellar showing from CJ Perez and June Mar Fajardo, SMB remained in control for most of the match and quickly repulsed any huge rally from Meralco until the end.
Perez finished with 26 points, three rebounds, three assists, and three steals, while Fajardo added 21 points, 16 rebounds, and two blocks for the Beermen. (PNA)