Tropang Giga demolishes import-less Rain or Shine in PBA clash

Jayson Castro scores a deuce in the fast break (PBA Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The TNT Tropang Giga garnered its second consecutive win after crushing the undermanned Rain or Shine Elastopainters, 110-91, in the ongoing 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Aside from collecting another win, the Tropang Giga drew another boost after getting back the injured Jayson Castro who missed the last two games due to an ankle injury.

Castro didn’t disappoint and finished the ball game with 10 points built from 4/5 shooting from the field, six assists, four rebounds, one steal, and a block.

Rain or Shine had to deal with early adversity after import Steve Taylor Jr. was ruled out against the Tropang Giga due to health and safety protocols.

His absence was a huge blow to the Elastopainters after the Tropang Giga quickly built a double-digit lead in the first quarter and got most of their points in the paint.

With the absence of Taylor Jr.’s shot-blocking prowess for Rain or Shine, coach Chot Reyes and the rest of the Tropang Giga decided to attack the Elastopainters’ interior which resulted in 41 first-quarter points for TNT.

However, the Elastopainters’ grit and resiliency showed in the next quarter after their collective shooting helped them inch closer and outscored TNT 30-14.

TNT then replicated its first-quarter outburst and ballooned its lead back to double digits after kicking off the second half with an eight-point lead.

Cameron Oliver began to dominate the game as Rain or Shine just didn’t have any answers for him and dropped 21 points and eight rebounds.

Meanwhile, newly-acquired swingman Calvin Oftana and shooting guard Roger Pogoy chipped in 15 points apiece while Jaydee Tungcab had 14 points.

The Elastopainters failed to bounce back and cut the lead to single digits in the fourth quarter and will go back to the drawing board after suffering its second-straight loss of the tournament.

“I think that’s a perfect reflection of where we are as a team now. We can play well in spurts, but we need to be able to put it together and play a full 48 minutes. And we’re not there yet,” said TNT’s coach Reyes.