TNT eliminates Ginebra, enters PBA Finals

MANILA, Philippines – End of the road now for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel as TNT Katropa enters the finals after giving the Kings a beating, 103-92 on Thursday, August 1, 2019 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Jayson Castro’s 20-point game 4 performance awarded TNT a ticket to this years Commissioner’s Cup finals
Jayson Castro’s 20-point game 4 performance awarded TNT a ticket to this years Commissioner’s Cup finals ticket | Photo Credit:

With the game 3 win, Barangay Ginebra obviously had the momentum and its players have the right mindset to force a win-or-go-home game 5.

League leader TNT Katropa on the other hand, will move heaven and earth just to close the series tonight and to avoid an upset.

Joe Devance probably woke up on the right side of the bed as he felt comfortable from the three point area. Likewise, Jayson Castro wiped away Ginebra defense in the driving lane to keep the 1st quarter scoring tight.

The entire 1st period was so intense that it ended in 32-all deadlock mark and a staredown match between Terrence Jones and Greg Slaughter.

With Ginebra’s twin towers on the floor together, the guards had all the confidence in the world to shoot from the outside regardless of the outcome, for they knew that those giants will grab the looseballs should they miss.

The Gin Kings had the time of their life in the 2nd quarter as they lead Katropa through multiple three pointers spearheaded by Stanley Pringle.

In contrast, TNT’s three point shooting percentage went down drastically since Tony Semerad left the series due to a shoulder injury that he sustained a couple of games ago.

Despite the three point shooting fiasco, TNT still managed to keep the scoring gap close. Thanks to “The Blur” who broke Ginebra’s twin tower apart. 62-58 was the number after the 1st half.

Roger Pogoy didn’t make a single three pointer in the previous game. But come 3rd quarter of this game, the bruiser-guard knocked off a couple of triple to start the TNT catch-up. Pogoy’s 10-point scoring blitz in less than 5 minutes put TNT on top for the first time tonight.

Aside from Pogoy, Terrence Jones punished Ginebra big men by attacking the ring and attracting them to foul him.

Pogoy and Jones’ terrific effort gave TNT an 86-79 lead entering the 4th and final period.

Not a good 4th quarter for Ginebra as Coach Tim Cone got a technical foul for entering the court and continuous complaining.

Just moments later after Coach Cone got whistled for a technical, TNT’s Terrence Jones obtained his 5th personal with over 7 minutes remaining in the game.

Despite Jones’ 5th personal foul, TNT Katropa maintained its composure as well as its lead. With 3 more minutes left, TNT’s advantage escalated to 17 while Ginebra struggled to make baskets.

TNT melted the clock and entered the finals after such a long time with a win over 2018 Commissioner’s Cup champions Barangay Ginebra 103-92.

TNT now awaits the winner of Rain Or Shine vs. San Miguel series who will play game 4 tomorrow, August 2.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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