MANILA, Philippines – TNT inched closer to ending its finals drought with a masterful 88-71 win over Barangay Ginebra in Game 2 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, July 28.
Terrence Jones collected his fourth triple-double by scattering 15 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 blocks, and 2 steals as the KaTropa gained a commanding 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five series.
The last time TNT reached the finals was in the 2017 edition of the mid-season conference, and it can get the job done in Game 3 to be played at the Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday, July 30.
It was not only Jones who shone for the KaTropa as 4 locals breached double figures with Jayson Castro putting up 20 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds, and Roger Pogoy finishing with 18 points and 5 rebounds.
Troy Rosario added 16 points and 5 rebounds, while Brian Heruela provided spark off the bench with 11 points – 8 coming in the final quarter – to go with 5 rebounds in the victory.
The Gin Kings had the scores tied after the maiden period at 21 until the KaTropa rode on the hot hands of Rosario and Jones to head into the halftime break up 51-42.
That began the end of Ginebra as the defending champion scored only 29 points in the second half, resulting in its lowest output in a game with reigning Best Import of the Conference Justin Brownlee.
Brownlee was his usual self with 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 steals, but the Gin Kings did not have enough firepower to avenge their 92-95 Game 1 loss two days ago.
Japeth Aguilar had 14 points and 5 rebounds, while Scottie Thompson and LA Tenorio added 13 and 11 points, respectively, in the loss.
TNT 88 - Castro 20, Pogoy 18, Rosario 16, Jones 15, Heruela 11, Trollano 5, Reyes 3, Taha 0, D. Semerad 0, Casino 0.
Ginebra 71 - Brownlee 25, Aguilar 14, Thompson 13, Tenorio 11, Slaughter 4, Pringle 2, Mariano 2, Devance 0, Chan 0, Caguioa 0, Teodoro 0.
Quarters: 21-21, 51-42, 68-55, 88-71.
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.