The TNT KaTropa completed a comeback to frustrate the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 95-92, and take a 1-0 lead in their 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five semifinal series, Friday evening at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Terrence Jones and Troy Rosario produced 24 points apiece to lead the Texters’ balanced attack. The former collected 12 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks, and three steals; meanwhile, the latter racked up 10 boards, three dimes, and a steal.
The two also proved pivotal for TNT down the stretch, spearheading a furious 17-5 rally that saw them flip an eight-point deficit with less then eight minutes remaining in the final frame, to a 93-89 lead with 1:30 on the clock.
And when the Gin Kings knocked within just one, 93-92, with 39 seconds left, Jones stepped up on both ends. He first blocked Scottie Thompson’s putback, before sinking a dagger lay-up off a drive with 10 ticks left.
“Defense got us the win. It really helped us especially at the end of the game,” said TNT head coach Bong Ravena.
Anthony Semerad had 17 points on four three-pointers for the KaTropa. But he was not able to finish the match, as he suffered a shoulder injury with 39 ticks left to play after diving for the loose ball against Justin Brownlee.
Jayson Castro had 12 points, fout assists, and three rebounds, while Roger Pogoy chimed in 10 markers in the win.
Brownlee made 23 points, 15 boards, and nine dimes to lead Ginebra. He helped the Barangay build an 11-point lead late in the third, but he became the target on defense afterward and was held to just a point in the final frame.
Stanley Pringle and LA Tenorio had 18 points apiece. Joe Devance supplied 11 points in the defeat.
Game Two of race-to-three series will be on Sunday, July 28, 6:15 PM still at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
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.
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