TNT regains command
TNT’s starting unit, with a gem of an import in Terrence Jones, put all the hurt on San Miguel Beer on Friday night as the KaTropa regained control of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup title series following a 115-105 Game 3 win at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Laboring hard under a bum start, the KaTropa needed all of two quarters to warm up with Jones leading them, as TNT erased several double-digit deficits to win convincingly and take a 2-1 lead.
Jones finished an assist shy of another triple-double with 37 points and 18 rebounds and Mark Dickel’s four other starters scored at least 13 each, with Roger Pogoy shooting 29 highlighted by the biggest triples in the stretch.
“We were emotional at the start of the game,” Bong Ravena, who is listed as the head coach but lets Dickel call the shots during games, said of the KaTropa’s slow start. “We just had to stay focused.”
Jones and the rest of the men on the floor for TNT did focus after the first quarter ended, 33-18 in the Beermen’s favor.
The KaTropa had a 20-point turnaround before both squads hit their respective locker rooms for the halftime break, as TNT took a 55-50 lead into the third and continued gathering steam from there.
“I just hope that we can take this [kind of] energy into the next game,” Ravena said. Game 4 will be on Sunday also at the fabled Big Dome.
Pogoy hit the last of three straight triples that buried the Beermen for good, as the KaTropa opened up a 113-99 lead entering the final 2:17 that not even San Miguel’s loaded roster could put a dent on.
“This is a series and we need to keep on improving,” Ravena said. “We have to manage our energy.”
Don Trollano, stepping up in the absence of the injured Ryan Reyes, was good for 18 points, with Jayson Castro shooting 14 and dishing off seven assists.
The TNT starters accounted for all but four of the team’s output.
Chris McCullough and June Mar Fajardo led the Beermen with 27 points and 13 rebounds each.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria was quick to put the blame on himself.
“It’s my fault, I wasn’t able to use my timeouts [wisely],” Austria said.
“Sometimes I let the players play a bit too much.”
TNT 115—Jones 37, Pogoy 29, Trollano 18, Castro 14, Rosario 13, Heruela 4, Washington 0, Golla 0, Taha 0, Carey 0, D. Semerad 0, Casino 0, Magat 0.
SAN MIGUEL BEER 105—McCullough 27, Fajardo 27, Romeo 13, Pessumal 12, Santos 10, Standhardinger 8, Ross 5, Cabagnot 3, Rosser 0.
Quarters: 18-33, 55-50, 86-78, 115-105
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