Glen Rice Jr. tallied 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists, one of 6 TNT players who scored in double digits, as the KaTropa notched a 112-107 win over NLEX in the PBA Governors' Cup at Ynares Center in Antipolo city on Wednesday night.
Jayson Castro knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer with 1:12 remaining to make it 110-106, a basket that halted a mini-run by NLEX and gave TNT a comfortable cushion in an otherwise tight end game.
TNT, losing Ranidel de Ocampo to a trade on Monday, raised its record to 6-3, now a half-game behind NLEX, which fell to 7-3.
TNT coach Nash Racela said it was tough parting ways with one of the franchise's best players.
"Yesterday in practice, they were still emotional to say goodbye. But the players went into focus right away and it showed in the game," Racela said.
"The last few days were really tough for us. For us to have a good chance today is that we accept right away the change and move forward right away."
Neither team led by double digits, and the game wasn't decided until the final minute or so.
TNT was ahead 107-101 when a 5-point swing by NLEX in a matter of 24 seconds helped the Road Warriors come to within 107-106.
After Castro's 3-pointer extended TNT's lead, however, NLEX wouldn't score a field goal anymore.
Kelly Williams finished with 19 points, while Troy Rosario chipped in a double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds) for TNT.
Aaron Fuller led NLEX with 28 points and 18 rebounds.
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