TNT stays mean sans castro
TNT Tropang Giga’s Troy Rosario fades a bit to beat the defense of Blackwater’s Frank Golla in this bit of action in the bubble play at the AUF Sports Arena last night.
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TNT stays mean sans castro
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - October 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — TNT missed a vital cog in seasoned playmaker Jayson Castro but still, the Tropang Giga ran like the same well-oiled machine and steamrolled opponent No. 5 in the PBA bubble.

With the usual suspects and the support crew gamely stepping up for the resting Castro (calf issues), the Tropang Giga clobbered skidding Blackwater, 109-96, to stretch their streak and regain the Philippine Cup’s solo lead yesterday.

RR Pogoy turned in 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals to tow a balanced TNT scoring parade as they put the 13-point victory at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena in Angeles City in the bag without Castro.

Rayray Parks (18-5), Troy Rosario (17-12-3), Simon Enciso (16 spiked by four triples) and JP Erram (14-5-5) produced the numbers as well.

“That’s how it is in our team. If someone is injured, everybody is stepping up. We all stepped up and helped one another pull this through,” Pogoy said in Filipino.

TNT coach Bong Ravena said they decided to give Castro a rest after feeling tightness on his right calf during the warmup.

“We didn’t want to risk it. It happened to us before when we let Roger play and eventually aggravated his injury. We also wanted to give Jayson more recovery time especially with our three games scheduled next week,” said Ravena.

The Elite suffered another heavy loss barely two days after an embarrassing 82-120 blowout to Alaska.

Nash Racela’s charges fell to 2-3 overall on the same day they underwent a fresh round of swab test as part of the bubble protocols.

The Elite, as well as the Alaska Aces, were re-tested Thursday morning just to be safe as they were the last teams to play before the positive result of one referee came out the other day.

The said referee, according to the PBA, could be a case of “false positive” as subsequent antigen tests yielded negative results.

TNT grabbed the upperhand against Blackwater with an 8-2 windup in the first period anchored on Enciso’s back-to-back treys.

Momentum on their side, the Tropang Giga further pressed on and seized big leads that reached as high as 21.

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