TNT and Phoenix we were treated with a hell of a performance in Game 1 of their semifinal series. It was a nail-biting game that was both teams play hard until the final seconds.
The Tropang Giga’s five-star core of Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy, Ray Parks, Troy Rosario and Poy Erram all showcased great basketball all game long.
The Fuel Masters however, showed resiliency, balls and guts as they kept the game close despite losing Matthew Wright to an ankle injury, with Calvin Abueva leading the way while being backed up by RJ Jazul and Jason Perkins.
However, it was TNT who took the hard-fought win, 95-92, to take a 1-0 lead in the best-five-series.
But despite having multiple great stories in the game, it’s Castro who took the spotlight and reminded everyone that he is a man on a mission this season – and that a title is all he wants.
The 34-year-old leader of the Tropang Giga finished with 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals. He had two of the biggest baskets in the game, knocking down a big three-pointer with under 1:30 left in the game then he followed it up with a hustling putback to keep them ahead of the Fuel Masters in the latter part of the game.
Heading into the PBA Bubble, Castro admitted that he is a man on a quest. He is extra hungry to finally break the five-year title drought him and the whole TNT squad is in.
Despite having younger guys like Pogoy, Parks, Erram and Rosarion taking over the team during the elimination round, head coach Bong Ravena knows that he is still the closer and the man.
“Jayson really showed his seniority. He stepped up tonight, his leadership. ‘Yun yung kailangan naming from Jayson, leadership and execution and we’re fortunate na na-shoot nya yung very important baskets,” he said in the post-game interview of the game.
Now, with a 1-0 lead in the series, and Wright looking to be in a bad shape along with the momentum on their side TNT is in a position to steamroll in this series and book their ticket to the Finals.
It’ll be interesting to see how both teams will react in the Game 2 of this best-of-five series.
Do you think TNT will snowball this series? Do you think Castro will continue this level of play? Do you think Phoenix will be able to comeback? Sound off below in the comment section.