A post game scenario brightens up the hard recently lit by a very tight match that ended with a clutch win by TNT against Converge. A breath of fresh air in the court for both blazing teams of athletes who fought hard on Sunday brightens the mood.
Ynares Sports Center, Antipolo cools down after a match between ravishing teams on fire, TNT and Converge. Jayson Castro consoled teenage guard RK Ilagan after he missed two clutch free throws in the final seconds of Converge’s loss to defending PBA PBA Philippine Cup champion TNT.
Despite being on the other side of the fence, the experienced TNT playmaker went over to Ilagan at the end of the Tropang Giga’s 86 to 83 comeback and impart some wisdom to his Converge opponent.
“Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘OK lang yun’ part of the process.’ Para next time na mag-free throw ka, yun ang magiging inspiration mo,” shared Castro when asked about what he told Ilagan after the game.
“Tsaka huwag na huwag kang mawawalan ng kumpiyansa, kasi ang ganda ng kumpiyansa nung bata,” he continues.
Imagine the tension pressing Ilagan. When the sophomore guard of Converge was brought to the line with 9.3 seconds left and the FiberXers leading 83 to 82, he was put under a lot of pressure. Not an easy feat for For RK Ilagan yet he and the rest of the team pressed hard to prevent a TNT win. Though pressured, Converge did not give in quickly.
Unfortunately though, Ilagan couldn’t finish the job this time, shooting the ball too hard twice to botch a couple of free throws just moments after putting his team on the lead – an advance short lived.
Castro took advantage of the brief window of opportunity to go for a coast-to-coast drive and defy Ilagan’s defense by scoring on a looping shot to give TNT the lead, 84 to 83. The surprise reversal by TNT left Converge stunned, leaving them unable to bounce back accordingly.
It didn’t help the Converge FiberXers committing a turnover in their inbound in an unexpected turn of events that cost them the game.
Speaking from the perspective of a seasoned athlete, Castro said such moments are the perfect kind of experience that will make Ilagan an even better player.
“Doon siya maggo-grow. For me, hindi naman mistake yun, e. Learning process yun,” said Castro, 35. “As a veteran nagawa ko rin yung mga mistakes na ganun at doon ako natuto.”
A recap of the thrilling events
The battle was truly tense and the TNT victory was clearly not easy as Converge proved to be a formidable opponent in the said match.
Close fights are always terrifying and this was true for this tight match. Surely there can only be one winner. Converge suffered a devastating loss after relying on clutch baskets from Maverick Ahanmisi and Ilagan down the line to take the lead at 83-82 on Ilagan’s jumper with 31 seconds left.
Mike Tolomia led Converge with a whopping 17 points on 4 out of 7 shooting from beyond the three point arc, while Ahanmisi and Kevin Racal both had 15 points.
Following a five second Tropang Giga inbound violation, the FiberXers had a very good opportunity to seal the victory when Kelly Williams sent Ilagan to the foul line, only for the San Sebastian guard to miss both free shots. Another failed attempt for a counter reversal.
Following their 89 to 82 overtime triumph over Magnolia, the FiberXers fell to a 1-2 record and failed to build on their first ever win. A reversal on the wrong side for Converge.
None is wasted
The match was a rather perfect moment to learn difficult lessons for the FiberXers. Lessons that would hopefully bring them better results for their upcoming games.