TNT advances to PBA Philippine Cup finals, Meralco forces do-or-die match against San Miguel

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The TNT Tropang Giga snatched a ticket to the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup finals after they eliminated the Magnolia Hotshots, 87-74, in an intense Game Six on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Veteran guard Jayson Castro led TNT with 26 points, including a booming straightaway triple that gave his team an 80-72 lead with under three minutes remaining. The shot was a breath of fresh air for TNT, which was under fire at the time with Magnolia pulling to within four, 72-76, after trailing by 12.

Mikey Williams added 15 points, six boards, and five assists, while Glenn Khobuntin stepped up and had 14 markers, including one from rainbow country that put TNT up, 86-74, with a minute to go in the contest.

Ian Sangalang paced Magnolia with 16 points and 12 boards but Mark Barroca fell silent, going 1-of-10 from the floor for just three points.

TNT will be facing off against the winner of the other semis pairing between the Meralco Bolts and the San Miguel Beermen. The Bolts sent the match-up to a winner-take-all Game Seven after beating the Beermen in dramatic fashion, 96-92, in Game Six.

The Bolts went on a sizzling 16-2 run in the endgame, sparked by Aaron Black who scored 11 straight to pull off the incredible win. Black completed an and-one to break a 90-all deadlock and put Meralco in front for good. He finished with 18 points.

Chris Newsome led Meralco with 19 points and seven rebounds while Cliff Hodge posted 17 points and 12 boards.