TNT dealt the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings a royal beatdown on Sunday night to seize total control in their race-to-three semifinal series in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, but coach Bong Ravena stressed that luck played a factor on this one.
“They were probably just unlucky. Their outside shots weren’t falling,” Ravena said after an 88-71 Game 2 win at Smart Araneta Coliseum that moved the KaTropa within another triumph on applying the broom on the defending champions.
“And perhaps we were just lucky, their scorers never got into a groove. We’re just lucky Ginebra had a bad game,” he added.
Ravena’s primary cast delivered in the second match of a series that is—contrary to all preseries hype—suddenly waving a checkered flag right around the corner.
Jayson Castro had 20 points to pace TNT, while import Terrence Jones had his lowest-scoring game in the PBA with 15 points, but still proved key by completing a triple double with 19 boards, and 10 assists.
The win put the KaTropa on the cusp of punching their first Finals appearance ticket in two years.
“Scoring-wise, he wasn’t dominating. But perhaps that made it easier for all of us,” Ravena said of Jones.
Ravena drew twin digit scores from a total of four locals, with RR Pogoy having a hot hand early and finishing with 16 points.
There was no doubt that defense was also a factor for TNT, as it managed to limit the crowd darlings to their lowest output since tapping the tireless Justin Brownlee as import.
Brownlee had a 25-point, 13-rebound effort, while Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson both bucked their lackluster Game 1 scoring performances to add 14 and 13, respectively.
They weren’t enough to hold off the TNT storm, though.
The gut punch that Ginebra took was drawing only two points from Stanley Pringle—their newest weapon who was responsible for a hot run in the elimination round and the quarterfinals.
His only field goal was a floater for the Kings’ second basket.
Ravena stressed that the job is far from over, saying that their immediate concern is to come out strong and go for the kill in the next available chance, which would be Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer also shoots for a big 2-0 lead over hard-fighting Rain or Shine on Monday as the Final Four moves to the modern venue in Pasay for the next two days.
Game time is at 7 p.m. with the Beermen hoping to take their A-Game and avoid being dragged into a close contest.
The Beermen won, 111-105, to take the lead on Saturday, and that was a little too close for the powerhouse squad that is the heavy favorite here.
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