PBA Semifinals: TNT breaks down Ginebra, takes Game 1

MANILA, Philippines – Still undisputed. League-leader TNT Katropa won game one of the 2019 PBA Commissioners’ Cup best-of-five semis series against crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra, 95-92 on Friday, July 26, 2019 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Terrence Jones outdueled Justin Brownlee and Barangay Ginebra
Terrence Jones outdueled Justin Brownlee and Barangay Ginebra with 24-12-4 | Photo Credit: pba.ph

In terms of roster depth, Barangay Ginebra absolutely has the edge. But when it comes to record, TNT Katropa, being the top seeded team of the conference placed the MVP-backed team in a better place.

Good ball rotation was TNT’s bread and butter as soon as the semifinals officially opened. The Kings however, relied early on Justin Brownlee and Stanley Pringle’s offensive prowess to take the lead from Katropa.

TNT’s Terrence Jones who played the full 48-minute game previously was really a force to reckon with in tonight’s game. The restless import was dropping points, grabbing boards and swatting balls. But his effort wasn’t enough as Ginebra closed the opener, 24-23.

Aside from the imports duel, basketball fans had fun watching Jayson Castro and LA Tenorio clashed in the backcourt.

Veteran Mark Caguioa led the Ginebra locals in scoring at the start of the 2nd quarter. While Roger Pogoy played a big role in the same period for his team that resulted in a seesaw battle.

As expected, Justin Brownlee topped all players at the half with 14 but the timid Troy Rosario put his squad ahead of Kings, 51-50.

Trading of baskets continued in the third. Tony Semerad and Joe Devance battled it all out from the outside while both teams’ reinforcements owned the shaded lane. It was just too unfortunate for Jones as he picked up his 4th personal with 7 more minutes left.

Terrence Jones stayed on the floor but getting into foul trouble really hampered his 2nd half performance and slowed him down offensively and defensively. With this, Ginebra went way ahead with a double-digit lead.

TNT tried to catch up by launching a variety of shots from almost every angle but failed and let Ginebra owned the penultimate quarter, 78-70.

4th and final quarter is “Stan the Man” time. The newest ka-barangay, Stanley pringle, toyed on his guards even Terrence Jones with his dipsy doo moves. His acrobatic shots really wowed the crowd but sady, Katropa was inch by inch chasing them down.

Midway of the final canto, Ginebra’s lead had gone down to just 5. Jones came back alive and initiated the scoring barrage for TNT.

At the 2-minute mark, TNT regained the advantage and Japeth Aguilar got fouled out leaving Joe Devance at the 5-position.

At the final buzzer, TNT sealed game 1 of their best-of-5 series to the tune of 95-92 close slug fest with Terrence Jones jotted down 24 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks including a game saving rejection.

Game 2 will be on Sunday, July 28, 2019 at 6:15 pm.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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