Vets take charge anew as TNT on verge of ousting SMB
MANILA, Philippines — TNT KaTropa’s trusted veterans came through in the crunch once again, outfighting San Miguel Beer, 101-94, in a tight seesawing game to move in the threshold of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
Jason Castro, Ranidel De Ocampo and Kelly Williams scored 18 points each and combined for 23 in the final quarter as the Texters rebounded from their 86-97 loss in Game Four to gain the pivotal 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
“Our model is the San Antonio Spurs,” said TNT coach Nash Racela likening his squad with the NBA team with great title runs with old vanguards in Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
“But review all the PBA lineups now and you can see that we have the most number of veterans,” Racela added.
Ryan Reyes, Larry Fonacier, Harvey Carey and Danny Seigle were other TNT vets who helped provide the push that carried the Texters into the brink of a return stint in the all-Filipino finals.
TNT KaTropa, record holder with a Philippine Cup three-peat from 2011-13, goes for a finals clincher in Game Six over at the MOA Arena in Pasay City tomorrow.