Jayson Castro scored a triple with 2.4 seconds left as the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Giga pulled through with a 93-92 triumph over the Magnolia Timplados Hotshots and grabbed a 2-1 lead in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinals Sunday evening at the Araneta Coliseum.
Castro, who had 16 points, struck after the Hotshots led for the last time off Mark Barroca’s layup with 11 ticks left.
The win allowed the Tropang Giga to recover from an 88-92 setback they suffered from the Hotshots in Game 2.
JP Erram powered the Tropang Giga with 22 points and 8 rebounds.
“We just kept our poise and we kept telling our players to stay in the game and stay in what we do and just wait for opportunities. I think that helped us in the end,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes.
Mikey Williams drilled in 15 points, but his miss in the final minute allowed Barroca to grab possession in the return play, tie the match for the last time at 90-all in the remaining 54 seconds with his layup, before giving the Hotshots the lead at 92-90 in the last 9.8 seconds.
With time winding down and no more timeouts left for the Tropang Giga, Castro dribbled the length of the court, ran around two picks, before sinking a step-back three-pointer that gave TNT the win as Magnolia could no longer set up a play in the final 2.4 seconds.
Magnolia drew 18 and 17 points, respectively, from Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang.
RR Pogoy’s three-point play off Abueva’s sixth and last foul gave TNT an 85-82 lead.
But despite Abueva’s absence, Magnolia stood its ground and got the lead back off Sangalang’s putback and hook shot, to go with Paul Lee’s two charities, 88-85.