MANILA, Philippines—TNT may be filled with bona fide stars but the team’s role players are just as ready to step up.
That’s what happened when the Tropang Giga survived Phoenix, 102-101, in Game 4 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Wednesday at Angeles University Foundation.
Poy Erram and Troy Rosario struggled mightily with both their offense and defense and the Tropang Giga turned to veteran Jay Washington and spitfire guard Simon Enciso to also deliver the goods.
Washington, a two-time Best Player of the Conference, played for 31 minutes putting up humble offensive numbers of six points on 3-of-8 shooting but it was his defense that sustained the Tropang Giga in the long run when he tallied three blocks, one steal, and five boards.
Ray Parks led TNT in the crucial stages with 36 points, including 17 points in the fourth quarter.
“We need players to guard the opponents so it’s very obvious that JWash was our anchor in the middle. He made stops defensively,” said TNT head coach Bong Ravena of Washington who had a plus-minus of +9, the best in the team.
“We know that Troy and Poy are always there but we really need them to step up and they have to be consistent especially on defense.”
Rosario went scoreless and shot 0-of-6 from the field in 23 minutes while Erram tallied four points. Both standing at 6-foot-7, both had just two rebounds between them.
Enciso, the Tropang Giga’s backup guard, meanwhile, contributed 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from deep but he did most of his damage in the fourth when he scored eight points in the final frame.
“Simon, it’s not just offense that he gives us, he’s also plays well especially on defense,” said Ravena. “He can contain his man and he can make his outside shots.”
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