Glen Rice Jr foul trouble ‘backfired’ against Ginebra, says TNT coach Racela
BATANGAS CITY, Philippines—TNT import Glen Rice Jr’s early foul trouble proved to be a blessing in disguise for the KaTropa as they evened their best-of-five semis series with a 103-96 Game 2 win over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Wednesday, October 4.
Rice Jr already committed his fourth foul nearing the end of the first half and was benched by TNT coach Nash Racela throughout the third quarter.
With Rice Jr’s absence, it looked like the Gin Kings were taking over after they came back from down 18 points to tie the game at 53-all.
But TNT rallied behind its locals as Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy scored 4 points apiece in a 12-2 spurt that gave the KaTropa a 65-55 lead which they held until the final buzzer.
“I think it backfired putting Glen Rice in trouble early because the locals played well, they played together in the third quarter and that just gave Glen Rice a whole quarter to rest. He came out fresh in the fourth quarter,” said Racela.
Rice Jr compensated for his absence in the third quarter by dropping 12 of his 21 points in the final period, spiked by a booming trey that put TNT up by 12, 95-83.
“I got into foul trouble, it was what it was and my teammates did their job of lifting us up. When I came in the fourth, we were already winning so it made my job a lot easier,” Rice said.
“I wasn’t nervous about it at all, we got a lot of great players. Just because they don’t get the opportunity to get in and showcase it doesn’t mean they are not good players,” Rice added.
Four locals finished in double figures with Castro, Rosario and Pogoy chalking up 20, 16, and 14 points, respectively. Mo Tautuaa made his presence felt with 10 points.
TNT will only have a day to prepare for Game 3 on Friday at the Aranera Coliseum and Racela expects Ginebra head coach Tim Cone has something up his sleeves.
“Coach Tim will probably pull out something else from his bag of tricks, I don’t know what it is but we will just try our best again to prepare and counter,” Racela concluded. – Rappler.com