By Jonas Terrado
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. — Alaska vs Meralco
6:45 p.m. — Ginebra vs San Miguel
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. — NorthPort vs NLEX
7 p.m. — TNT KaTropa vs Magnolia
ANTIPOLO CITY — TNT KaTropa survived the comeback of beleaguered San Miguel Beer 114-109 to secure the last twice-to-beat advantage in the conclusion of the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations at the Ynares Center here.
Import KJ McDaniels erupted for 44 points as the KaTropa snapped a three-game skid to defeat a Beermen side reeling from the indefinite suspensions handed to Arwind Santos, Kelly Nabong and Ronald Tubid.
Santos, Nabong and Tubid were suspended indefinitely after figuring a fight alongside now ex-import Dez Wells during Sunday’s practice at the Upper Deck Sports Center in Ortigas.
TNT finished the elims in a three-way share of the league’s best record with NLEX and Meralco at 8-3.
NLEX, however, was already assured of the No. 1 seed due to a superior quotient, Meralco is at second while TNT settled for third spot and a date with defending champion Magnolia, which placed sixth.
The loss dropped San Miguel at No. 5, needing to beat fourth-ranked Barangay Ginebra twice.
TNT’s win co-incided with the return of Jayson Castro, who missed the previous two outings due to an ankle injury. Castro posted 12 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists in 40 minutes.
Troy Rosario, who has been dealing with calf and finger injuries, fired 30 points for the KaTropa.
John Holland hit 25 points in his second game since replacing Wells but failed to lead the Beermen to victory.
Holland put the Beermen up 108-107 on a three-pointer in the fourth after being down by a high of 18 in the third. But McDaniels answered back with a three of his own for 110-108 KaTropa, 44.1 seconds remaining.
June Mar Fajardo had a chance to even things out after being fouled with 17.5 seconds left, only to split two foul shots after missing the second. Fajardo did get his own miss but failed to convert a go-ahead basket before McDaniels was sent to the foul line.
McDaniels converted both charities for 112-109, then blocked Holland’s game-tying three on the ensuing play.
TNT KATROPA 114 — McDaniels 44, Rosario 30, Pogoy 17, Castro 12; Reyes 5, Parks 4, Washington 2, Williams 0, Digregorio 0, De Leon 0.
SAN MIGUEL 109 — Holland 25, Romeo 18, Ross 16, Lassiter 16, Fajardo 13, Cabagnot 12, Tautuaa 8, Rosser 1, Pessumal 0.
Quarters: 37-25; 53-46; 87-77; 114-109.