Joshua Smith threw his weight around and TNT held off top seed Barangay Ginebra, 100-94, to take Game 1 of the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals Sunday night at Mall of Asia Arena.
The 6-foot-8, 300-pound Smith scored 29 of his 35 points in the second half including an 18-point third quarter as the KaTropa weathered the Gin Kings’ fightback.
He owned the shaded area going 16-of-22 from the field while also collecting 13 rebounds and four assists in just a little over 29 minutes off the bench.
Roger Pogoy also came up big for TNT with 17 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the three-point area while Jayson Castro, who was struggling all-game long offensively, hit the game-clinching 3-pointer with 12.2 seconds left.
The Kings never led but pulled within one possession thrice inside the final two minutes but each time, the KaTropa had answer with Pogoy, Smith and Castro hitting timely baskets.
Justin Brownlee led Ginebra with 24 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. – INQUIRER.net
TNT 100 – Smith 35, Pogoy 17, De Ocampo 12, Garcia 8, Rosario 6, Semerad 6, Williams 5, Castro 4, Rosales 4, Reyes 2, Carey 0.
GINEBRA 94 – Brownlee 24, Tenorio 15, Aguilar 15, Devance 10, Ferrer 10, Mercado 7, Thompson 7, Marcelo 4, Ellis 2, Caguioa 0.
Quarterscores: 23-13, 45-37, 73-66, 100-94.