MANILA, Philippines – Terrence Jones proved to be a cut above the rest by leading TNT to a dominant 109-96 win over San Miguel in Game 1 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, August 4.
Jones erupted for 41 points and almost had a triple-double with 12 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 blocks as he spearheaded a fiery first-quarter attack the KaTropa used in order to draw first blood in the best-of-seven duel.
TNT was trailing 17-19 early before Jones took over by scoring 12 points in a scintillating 20-0 run bridging the first two quarters and they never looked back.
The KaTropa then relied on a strong second-half showing from their locals to stretch their lead to as large as 23 points, 78-55, as the Beermen never found an opening to stage a comeback.
Back in the finals for the first time in two years, Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, and Roger Pogoy made sure to rise to the occasion for TNT.
Castro backstopped Jones with 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists, Rosario had 17 points, while Pogoy chipped in 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals in the win.
Also making his presence felt for the KaTropa was Don Trollano, who delivered 11 points and 9 rebounds as a starter.
Chris McCullough put up his usual numbers of 33 points, 15 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks for San Miguel, but he committed half of their 18 turnovers.
June Mar Fajardo finished with 23 points, while Terrence Romeo and Christian Standharginer added 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the loss.
Game 2 is on Wednesday, August 7, at the same venue.
TNT 109 - Jones 41, Castro 20, Rosario 16, Pogoy 13, Trollano 11, Heruela 5, Reyes 3, Washington 0, Taha 0, Carey 0, Semerad D. 0, Casino 0, Magat 0.
San Miguel 96 - McCullough 33, Fajardo 23, Romeo 11, Standhardinger 10, Ross 7, Santos 5, Cabagnot 3, Pessumal 2, Zamar 2, Nabong 0.
Quarters: 35-19, 69-42, 87-72, 109-96.
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.