PBA Finals: SMB ties series vs TNT in double OT

MANILA, Philippines – “Sobrang hirap kalaban ng TNT.” These are the words uttered by game 2 Best Player of the Game, Terrence Romeo in an interview after a heart-pounding 127-125 SMB win against the Katropa in a thriller double overtime in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Wednesday, August 7 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Terrence Romeo dropped 29 points to tie the series 1-1
Vintage Romeo is back. Terrence Romeo dropped 29 points to tie the series 1-1 vs. TNT | Photo Credit: pba.ph

It was really a painful loss for San Miguel to get beaten up by TNT with a huge margin. The Beermen had some good scoring runs but still fell in the hands of the better team.

SMB started slow in game 1. So, to avoid the same fate, the Beermen had to be aggressive from the beginning. Enter Chris Ross and his red hot three point shooting hands. Ross made it rain from the outside early in the opener to get into a good position.

TNT’s Terrence Jones who had monster numbers previously, looked to get his teammates more involved offensively as he opted to dish dimes instead of dropping buckets.

San Miguel’s explosion from the three point territory garnered the Beermen a 32-25 advantage after the first 12 minutes of the game.

San Miguel’s three point shooting fiesta carried on the 2nd quarter. Chris Ross rested for a while but Terrence Romeo took the scoring chores from him and escalated SMB’s lead to a dozen with over 8 minutes left.

Coach Leo Austria made a little experiment in the dying minutes of the second as he brought in 3 point guards all together on the floor. Coach Austria’s gambled fired back a little bit as Katropa made a short run.

Despite TNT’s scoring blitz, SMB remained in control after the 1st half, 59-45.

As expected, TNT Katropa bounced back in the 3rd period after being buried by a double-digit. Jayson Castro led the scoring barrage as he and his teammates cut the lead to just 6 in just a few minutes.

SMB and TNT traded triples after triples in the third. Aside from the non-stop shootout, the game got even hotter as Christian Standhardinger and Terrence Jones entangled multiple times that resulted in double technical fouls at the 3rd minute mark.

Castro’s outstanding 3rd quarter performance helped TNT carved SMB’s lead to 84-77.

SMB’s advantage is getting smaller and smaller. During the 4th quarter, it was Troy Rosario’s turn to contribute. The former NU star had 11 in the first 4 minutes of the final canto.

Terrence vs. Terrence. Jones and Romeo had 20+ points apiece in the 4th quarter. The ex-Houston Rocket forward was just luckier as his team made an unbelievable comeback and snatched the lead from SMB at the 2-minute warning with a huge boost from pal, Rosario.

SMB was down by 3 with 20 ticks left. Terrence Romeo played 1 on 1 against Roger Pogoy and hit a cold-blooded trey for the deadlock. The other Terrence, Jones, had the chance to win the game but missed and sent the game to overtime.

Teams tightened their defense in the extra period. Aside from the defensive stops, the squads kept the score tied.

Troy Rosario hit another three pointer to put TNT ahead with 21 seconds remaining. But, TNT’s import got ejected after receiving his 2nd technical foul.

Believe or not, this game 2 went to double overtime. Who’s the man then? None other than, the “Crunch Man”, Alex Cabagnot himself.

Even without Terrence Jones, Katropa, with all their hearts out, kept pushing hard and even had the lead despite their reinforcement’s absence.

Another man down for TNT as Troy Rosario consumed all his personal fouls. Rosario had 34 points, his new PBA career high.

Chris Ross stole the ball from Jayson Castro and drove all the way for a sure ball and 4-point lead but Castro fired back with a 3 to cut the lead to just a half-shot

Chris Mccollum finished off TNT, 127-125 via split charity and tied the series 1-1.

Game 3 will be on Friday, August 9, 2019.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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