Top-seeded TNT advanced to the Finals of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup by taking Game 4 of its best-of-five semifinal series against defending champion Brgy. Ginebra, 103-92, Thursday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The victory clinched the series for the KaTropa, 3-1, and prevented the Gin Kings from repeating as titlists of the mid-season conference.
The KaTropa, whose last Final’s appearance came during the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup, will face the winner of the other semifinals pairing featuring San Miguel and Rain or Shine with the Beermen holding a 2-1 series edge.
Terrence Jones registered another triple-double, his 5th in the conference which is a new franchise record, with 24 points, 13 rounds and 10 assists as the former Houston Rockets forward overcame foul trouble to preside over TNT’s second half surge to seal the breakthrough win for the flagship team of the MVP Group.
“We are just lucky sa game na ito. Yung huling part, breaks sa side namin. We were making stops,” said a jubilant TNT head coach Bong Ravena during the post-game presser.
“Off to the next round. We have to be ready kung sino makakalaban namin. It won’t mean anything kung hindi namin itutuloy,” he added.
Troy Rosario backstopped the prolific Jones with a double-double of 22 points and 11 boards. Jayson Castro likewise finished in the 20’s with 20 while Roger Pogoy added 14 – all in the pivotal third frame where the KaTropa rattled off a 21-4 run which turned a 63-71 deficit into a 84-75 lead before settling for an 86-79 advantage going into the payoff period.
After a basket by Justin Brownlee pegged the score at 94-86 with TNT still ahead, the KaTropa unleashed a 9-0 run to increase their advantage to 17, 103-86, which proved to be the final nail on Brgy. Ginebra’s coffin.
Brownlee and Japeth Aguilar paced the Gin Kings with 27 points apiece while Stanley Pringle and Joe Devance added 15 and 13 points, respectively.
TNT 103 – Jones 24, Rosario 22, Castro 20, Pogoy 14, Heruela 9, Reyes 6, Trollano 6, Taha 2, Washington 0.
Brgy. Ginebra 92 – Brownlee 27, Aguilar 27, Pringle 15, Devance 13, Tenorio 5, Thompson 3, Caguioa 2, Slaughter 0.
Quarterscores: 32-32, 58-62, 86-79, 103-92.