Castro powers TNT past Ginebra and into PBA Finals

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Jayson Castro exploded for 38 points, 7 rebounds, and 11 assists and the TNT KaTropa usurped top seed Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 122-109, in Game 4 of the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals on Saturday, June 17 at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The KaTropa finished off the Gin Kings, 3 games to one, in the best-of-5 series to set up a best-of-7 finals affair against the San Miguel Beermen.

TNT surged with one last run midway in the fourth to put away Ginebra for good. They closed out Ginebra after racing to a 2-0 series lead and failing to take care of business in Game 3.

TNT is back in the finals for the first time since the 2015 Commissioner's Cup and this is its 17th trip overall as a franchise. This is also the team's first finals appearance in the young era of coach Nash Racela. 

Import Joshua Smith bucked pain in his right foot after he twisted it again the third quarter to contribute 18 points and 5 rebounds off the bench.

RR Garcia added 16 markers and 5 dimes, while Kelly Williams put up 14 points and 12 rebounds across his name. RR Pogoy chipped in 13 points as well.

Japeth Aguilar topscored for the Gin Kings with 31 points and 7 rebounds, while Justin Brownlee had a 25-point, 15-rebound, 7-assist, and 3-block performance.

LA Tenorio had a double-double of 20 points and 10 assists as he sparked Ginebra to a brief 5-point lead in the fourth before TNT erased that immediately. Joe Devance added 14 markers off the bench as the Gin Kings struggled against the bulk of TNT's hulking import.

Scores:

TNT (122): Castro 38, Smith 18, Garcia 16, Williams 14, Pogoy 13, De Ocampo 9, Semerad 5, Tautuaa 4, Reyes 3, Rosales 2, Rosario 0. 

Ginebra (109): Aguilar 31, Brownlee 25, Tenorio 20, Devance 14, Thompson 10, Ellis 6, Marcelo 2, Mercado 1, Ferrer 0. 

Quarter scores: 29-35, 66-63, 95-92, 122-109. 

– Rappler.com