Rice gives Acox rude welcome as TNT subdues Star

By Ivan Saldajeno

ANTIPOLO--TNT inched closer to a twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals with a 104-99 win over Star at the Ynares Center on Sunday night.

Glen Rice Jr. dominated the game and spoiled Kris Acox's debut as the KaTropa moved up to fourth place in the team standings at 7-3 despite a gallant stand by the Hotshots in the end.

Down by as much as 17, 72-89, late in the third quarter, Star roared back in the fourth and came to within two, 96-98, with 57.6 seconds left.

But Rice scored on back-to-back one-handed shots that saved TNT.

Rice finished with 43 points with 37 coming in the first three quarters, but none was more important than his six fourth quarter points, all coming within the last minute, that kept the KaTropa afloat.

He came close to a triple-double as he also tallied 19 rebounds and nine assists with two steals.

RR Pogoy, Jayson Castro, and Troy Rosario each added 12 markers.

Acox had a respectable debut with the Hotshots, tallying 18 points, 18 boards, three assists, one block, and one steal, but he was only 1-of-4 from the field in the payoff period.

Paul Lee and Jio Jalalon carried the fight for them in the final frame, combining for 14 of their team's 24 points in the last 12 minutes, but their push fell short.

Box Scores:

TNT 104-Rice Jr. 43, Castro 12, Pogoy 12, Rosario 12, Williams 8, Semerad 7, Reyes 6, Tautuaa 4, Lingganay 0, Carey 0

Star 99-Acox 18, Lee 17, Sangalang 17, Jalalon 13, Ramos 11, Pingris 8, Reavis 6, Dela Rosa 4, Barroca 3, Melton 2, Simon 0, Gamalinda 0

Quarterscores: 27-22, 51-45, 89-75, 104-99

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