By JONAS TERRADO
Glen Rice Jr. is turning out to be just what the doctor ordered for TNT KaTropa after delivering another strong performance in last night’s 117-96 victory over the Blackwater Elite in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The son of the NBA legend produced 31 points, six rebounds, four assists and seven steals in 31 minutes, helping the KaTropa snap the Elite’s three-game winning streak to move up in a tie for fifth place with the idle Rain or Shine Elasto Painters at 4-2.
After a disappointing showing two weeks ago against the Elasto Painters was followed by a 38-point outing in a win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters five days earlier, it seems like the 26-year-old has secured his spot after coming in for Michael Craig, who coach Nash Racela said remains in the country in case the team decides to go back with their original choice.
So far, Racela is liking what he’s seeing from the former NBA player, who scored 28 in the second and third quarters that saw TNT break away to take the fight out of Blackwater.
“Slowly, he’s getting a feel of the league, how do you call the fouls, how they officiate here, how we play physical,” Racela said. “As long as he continues to understand that and makes his own adjustment, mas okay para sa amin.”
The presence of NBA legend Ray Allen may have inspired Rice.
Allen watched from the best seat in the house as TNT turned a tight start into a lopsided win with Rice getting ample support from almost everyone.
Kelly Williams had 21 points and Jayson Castro produced 11 points and four assists in almost 20 minutes.
Rice’s counterpart, Henry Walker, delivered 33 points and 18 rebounds but Blackwater dropped to 3-4 for eighth place.
Walker, who chatted with Allen – his former teammate with the Boston Celtics from 2008 to 2010 – during a 20-minute lull early in the second quarter because of a technical problem – had only 10 points in the second quarter but Rice fired 13 that brought TNT to a 62-40 halftime lead.
TNT KATROPA 117 – Rice 31, Williams 21, Castro 11, Lingganay 10, Tautuaa 9, Pogoy 8, Reyes 8, De Ocampo 7, Carey 6, Rosario 3, Semerad 3,Golla 0, Hernandez 0, Nuyles 0, Seigle 0.
BLACKWATER 96 – Walker 33, Erram 18, DiGregorio 12, Sumang 8, Belo 7, Canaleta 6, Cruz 4, Pinto 4, Gamalinda 2, Pascual 2, Aguilar 0, Sena 0.
Quarters: 28-25; 62-40; 92-71; 117-96.
GINEBRA 105 – Brownlee 24, Aguilar 19, Slaughter 14, Devance 14, Tenorio 12, Thompson 8, Mercado 5, Mariano 3, Cruz 2, Ellis 2, Taha 2, Marcelo 0, Helterbrand 0, Ferrer 0, Caguioa 0.
PHOENIX 92 – Brown 26, Wright 21, Kramer 11, Intal 11, Chan 7, Jazul 6, Eriobu 4, Alolino 4, Dehesa 2, Lanete 0, W. Wilson 0, Miranda 0.
Quarters: 29-26, 53-50, 85-68, 105-92.
Tags: Blackwater Elite, Henry Walker, Jayson Castro, Kelly Williams, Michael Craig, Nash Racela, NBA, PBA Governors’ Cup, PBA news, PBA scores, Phoenix Fuel Masters, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, Ray Allen
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