Smith powers TNT to big Game 1 victory over Ginebra

Paul Lintag on Jun 11, 2017 08:53 PM
Smith powers TNT to big Game 1 victory over Ginebra
Despite coming off the bench for the third time in the last four games, Smith still feasted on the Ginebra frontline, going for 35 points, 29 in the second half, on top of 13 rebounds, 11 from the offensive end.

Tim Cone already had his worries about facing a hulking import in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals.

Unfortunately for him, Brgy. Ginebra somehow managed to draw the better hulk.

Joshua Smith proved to be the big difference for TNT as the 6'10", 300-pound reinforcement powered the KaTropa to a 100-94 win against the Gin Kings Sunday in Game 1 of their best-of-5 series at the MOA Arena.

Despite coming off the bench for the third time in the last four games, Smith still feasted on the Ginebra frontline, going for 35 points, 29 in the second half, on top of 13 rebounds, 11 from the offensive end.

Shooting an incredible 16-of-22 from the field, the former Georgetown Hoya repeatedly pounded the Gin Kings inside, providing the answer for the KaTropa every time the barangay looked like they were going on a big run to put the game in their favor.

"It's just like the last game [vs. Meralco], if you give him minutes, he will give you the numbers," head coach Nash Racela said on his towering import who managed to play almost 30 minutes in Game 1.

"Rebounds siguro not that much, but because of Ginebra's defense, they really concentrated on neutralizing Joshua and almost like having two or three guys on him every single time," Racela added.

Despite Smith dominating inside, Ginebra was never truly out of it as the Gin Kings used a big 12-0 run in the third period to erase a 15-point lead.

However, trailing by two, 90-92, less than two minutes to go, the Ginebra defense broke down and failed to locate RR Pogoy as the rookie calmly dropped a cluth three to push the KaTropa to a 95-90 advantage.

The dagger was then delivered by Jayson Castro in the final 12 seconds after burying another clutch three for the final tally. It was the Blur's only field goal in the game as he finished with only four points on 10 percent shooting.

Pogoy scored 17 for TNT.

Five players scored for the no. 1 Gin Kings led by Justin Brownlee's 24 points but Ginebra never truly got anything going in this game, surrendering an early 7-0 run to TNT that set the tone for the entire contest.

Game 2 is set for Tuesday also at the MOA Arena.

 

The scores:

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.

 

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