Another PBA stint, another heartbreak for Joshua Smith.
The TNT KaTropa import’s aspirations of helping the team win a title has yet to become a reality, as his Texters got booted out in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals, Tuesday night.
The KaTropa got swept by the San Miguel Beermen — the same team that defeated them in the Finals of last year’s edition of the mid-season conference –in their best-of-three series.
“It sucks, man!” said Smith after their heartbreaking 102-106 loss at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. “A lot of heads down inside. We got close but they’re champions for a reason.”
TNT emerged as the favorites to return to the Commissioner’s Cup Finals when they called back Smith to replace Jeremy Tyler, who seemingly underperformed in the four games he played.
With him in tow, the Katropa finished the eliminations as the three-seed with an 8-3 card. Smith, for his part, ended the round with averages of 17.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks.
Unfortunately, fate had other plans, and they met early with SMB. A lot would want to see a TNT-San Miguel showdown in the Finals again, especially with the bad blood between the two.
“I just told the guys in the locker room… Man, the reason I came back was because of them. It was not about the money, it was not about what I had here,” said the 26-year-old
“The reason I went back here was because I enjoyed it here.”
Smith’s business with the Texters has remained unsettled. Though he has failed twice, that doesn’t mean he’s stopping from lending his helping hand to the KaTropa in the near future.
“Always, man! Got close to a championship last year, ended in the quarterfinals this year. If it all works out, I wouldn’t mind coming back,” said Smith, who will be playing in Japan for the next two years.
“I just told them that I’m one phone call away.”