PBA Finals: TNT draws first blood against SMB

MANILA, Philippines - Terrence Jones put another Best Import of the Conference numbers and a game 1 TNT Katropa win against San Miguel Beermen in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Sunday, August 4 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

PBA Finals: TNT draws first blood against SMB
Monster numbers for Terrence Jones with 41 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 blocks and game 1 win against SMB | Photo Credit: pba.ph

It took both teams just few seconds after the inaugural tipoff to officially open the finals with a series of baskets and could probably be a glimpse of a high-scoring game 1.

It’s been 3 years since these teams met in the finals. TNT’s mindset will be retribution as the Katropa rallied San Miguel 1-3 in titles while the Beermen eye another trophy to add to their collections.

The fans were treated to a fantastic ballgame as the imports and as expected showed up and tried to beat each other as early as the 1st quarter.

Terrence Jones got entangled with Arwind Santos multiple times and the crowd went frenzy as they watched the forwards clash. But the TNT reinforcement got the best of Santos as he erupted with 16 points and ended the first with a 35-19 lead.

Terrence Jones has been a hard puzzle to solve for Coach Leo Austria. He has placed Arwind Santos and Christian Standhardinger in front of him in the 1st period and Kelly Nabong in the 2nd quarter.

SMB big men can’t do anything with Jones’ offensive onslaught as the former Houston Rocket demolished their defenses and dropped 23 points already with over 6 minutes left at the half.

Aside from Jones, TNT locals led by Roger Pogoy, contributed significant numbers especially from the outside to their humongous advantage.

San Miguel had a lot of catching up to do in the 2nd half as TNT had an 18-point, 60-42 lead.

Still the same situations for both teams in the third. San Miguel chased TNT and the lead was playing around 20 plus points.

Terrence Jones slowed down offensively but it didn’t stop Katropa from draining more and more points as Jayson Castro and Don Trollano found their rhythms as well.

Chris Mccollough and June Mar Fajardo joined forces in bringing TNT’s gigantic advantage down. Their efforts weren’t enough but they managed to cut it 87-72 with one more quarter to go.

San Miguel just had one more period and one last chance to win game 1. However, it became dimmer and dimmer for the Beermen as the TNT boys put themselves on top with a new 20 point lead.

Three point shooting was the main culprit in SMB’s poor performance in this game.The Beermen have been averaging 12 three point shots made in the playoffs and they just bucketed 4 in this game.

Terrence Jones opted to sub out in the last 2 minutes of the game where he produced 41 points and 12 rebounds.

The TNT locals wrapped up the game with a 109-96 very convincing win and a comfortable 1-0 series lead.

Game 2 will be on Wednesday, August 7 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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