TNT KaTropa shoots for the first slot in the finals when it battles defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel tonight in Game 3 of the Season 44 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five semifinals at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The game is set at 7 p.m.
Coach Bong Ravena of TNT admitted they were just lucky in their Game 2 win (88-71) against the Gin Kings (88-71). He reminded his players to work double time in Game 3 to bring the KaTropa back to the Commissioner’s Cup Finals fors the first time since losing that title to San Miguel Beer two years ago.
“There’s nothing to celebrate. We were just lucky that they had a bad game and they couldn’t hit their shots. Against the wall, Ginebra will come out strong so we have to prepare for it,” said Ravena, who expects the other players to step up anew in the absence of Tony Semerad.
Semerad injured his shoulder in TNT’s 95-92 win in Game 1.
Terrence Jones, who had a fourth triple-double in the league after finishing with 15 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists plus two steals and four blocks, commended the team’s superb defensive effort and hoped to sustain the same winning mentality in Game 3.
“Excellent defense man,” said Jones to reporters. “I think we all came together and really focused on what we wanted to take away and we wanted to do defensively. So you know, I just wanted to make sure we stepped on our principles defensively to continue on winning.
TNT had a great shooting night than the Gin Kings beyond the arc, making 16 triples compared to the five of Ginebra. Roger Pogoy had six treys in his 18 points while Brian Heruela made three in his 11 points to give the KaTropa a great offensive performance in Game 2.
Jayson Castro had a big game too, finishing 20 points plus five assists, while Troy Rosario contributed 16 points in that game.
Ginebra import Justin Brownlee, last year’s Best Import winner, said they have to live to their “never say die” attitude if they want to save their title-retention bid this conference.
“We must have a never say die type approach attitude [in Game 3]. I know coach (Tim Cone) will definitely make adjustments in the game,” said Brownlee, who made 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in last game.
“We have to guard the three-point line better and hope they miss.”