The TNT Tropang Giga is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters at 4 PM on November 22, 2020, live from the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Even though Bobby Ray Parks Jr. scored a new career-high 41 points against the Matthew Wright-less Fuel Masters last Friday, the Topex Robinson-head coach team still managed to win, 110-103, and tie the best-of-five semifinals series at 1-1.
Jason Perkins and Calvin Abueva stepped up this time, scoring 21 and 20 points, respectively. Abueva finished with a double-double as he rebounded 15 times.
With solid contributions from other Phoenix players, the Fuel Masters turned the initial best-of-five match-up into a race-to-two affair.
“Wala si Matt kaya kailangan naming lahat mag-step up at nagawa naman namin. Yung mga pinapagawa ni coach Topex (Robinson) na patience lang sa execution, sa mga plays namin at yun yung naging reason kung bakit nanalo kami,” said Abueva.
Parks, who goes 10-of-14 from 3s, was fouled out in the last 4:59 of the game on an offensive foul against Abueva, with TNT nursing a 92-90 lead. Abueva then sparked a 17-5 surge that pulled Phoenix into a 107-97 spread with only 46 seconds left. With this, the W went to Phoenix.
“It’s always a joy to see Calvin being a different ‘Beast’ right now,” said Robinson.
“He (Abueva) knows that Matt is not a hundred percent, and he just kept on promising that, you know, when he wasn’t around Matt was always there for him. Eto ngayon, sabi niya, nawala naman si Matt, siya naman babawi,” Robinson added.
Jayson Castro, who played impeccable basketball the last time out, tallying 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, was held to only nine points, five rebounds, and three assists this time around. All the other TNT starters scored at least 10 points each.
“We know that Jayson is really a proven winner. We know that if the game is on the line, we know who’s gonna take that shot, and we respect that. We have to find ways,” Robinson said.
“Again, we just want to make sure that everybody is in check because that TNT team has a solid lineup, so we have to pick our poison. It just so happened now that Jayson didn’t really contribute, but we know that Jayson will come back stronger,” added Robinson.