TERRENCE Jones once again showed his NBA pedigree on Friday night, making all the big plays in the endgame to complete TNT KaTropa's 95-92 comeback win over Ginebra in the opener of their 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal series.
The do-it-all Jones scored 24 points and capped TNT's comeback from 10-points down in the second half by blocking Scottie Thompson's undergoal stab then scoring on a layup against Justine Brownlee on the the end, 95-92.
When Joe Devance's desperation three-pointer bounced off the rim at the buzzer, the KaTropa celebrated a courageous victory that gave them the headstart in the best-of-five semifinal series.
Rosario matched Jones' 24 points and hit a layup and two free throws that gave TNT a 91-89 lead before Jones took over, blocking Thompson's shot and scoring on a fastbreak lay-up off a steal off Brownlee for a four-point TNT lead.
“I guess the defense gave us the win,” said TNT coach Bong Ravena. “Ika-nga, depensa talaga. It really helped us especially during the end of the game. We made crucial stops. That’s very important.”
Game Two is set on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum with TNT eyeing a 2-0 lead.
Brownlee finished with 23 points, 15 rebounds, and nine assists, and Pringle and LA Tenorio had 18 points apiece for the Kings, who opened a 10-point lead, 72-62, late in the third quarter.
Jones and Rosario actually had double-doubles with 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively. Defensive specialist Anthony Semerad had 17 points before he suffered a shoulder injury when he collided with Brownlee while chasing down a loose ball.
The Kings appeared headed for the Game One win after posting a 72-62 advantage on back-to-back baskets by Brownlee. They were still up, 84-76, before TNT made a 17-5 run capped by that Jones’ fastbreak after a steal.
TNT 95 – Rosario 24, Jones 24, A. Semerad 17, Castro 12, Pogoy 10, Trollano 6, Heruela 2, Reyes 0, Magat 0, Washington 0, Taha 0.
Barangay Ginebra 92 – Brownlee 23, Tenorio 18, Pringle 18, Devance 11, J. Aguilar 8, Slaughter 7, Caguioa 7, Thompson 0, Caperal 0, Mariano 0, Teodoro 0.
Quarters: 23-24; 51-50; 70-78; 95-92.