TNT stormed back from a 10-point deficit late in the 3rd quarter to take Game 1 of its best-of-five semifinal series in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup against defending champion Brgy. Ginebra, 95-92, Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Terrence Jones and Troy Rosario conspired in the KaTropa’s strong finishing kick that saw the flagship team of the MVP Group outscore the Gin Kings 25-14 in the payoff period to pick up the victory and take a 1-0 series lead.
Jones, who played without relief for the entire game, finished with 24 points, including a gutsy drive which gave his team a 3-point lead with the game clock down to 10 seconds, to go along with 12 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and 4 blocks.
Joe Devance still had a chance to to send the game into overtime but his three-point attempt just hit the side of the rim as time expired.
“I guess, obviously, defense got us the win. It really helped us, especially during the end of the game. We made some crucial stops,” said TNT head coach Bong Ravena shortly after the match.
“This win will not matter if we don’t come back again in two days. So we have to prepare again. Hindi puwedeng mag-relax because Ginebra will come back, alam na natin iyan,” he added.
Rosario, who was adjudged as best player of the game, also had 24 markers on top of 10 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal.
Anothny Semerad contributed 17 points spiked by 4 triples but exited the game with 39 seconds left due to a broken shoulder he sustained after colliding with Justin Brownlee during a battle for the loose ball.
Brownlee paced the Gin Kings with 23 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists, 5 steals and a block while Stanley Pringle and LA Tenorio chipped in 18 markers apiece.
TNT 95 – Jones 24, Rosario 24, A. Semerad 17, Castro 13, Pogoy 10, Trollano 6, Heruela 2, Washington 0, Taha 0, Reyes 0, Magat 0.
Brgy. Ginebra 92 – Brownlee 23, Pringle 18, Tenorio 18, Devance 11, Aguilar 8, Slaughter 7, Caguioa 7, Caperal 0, Mariano 0, Thompson 0, Teodoro 0.
Quarterscores: 23-24, 51-50, 70-78, 95-92.