Infractions were called, with one player even tossed out of the game Friday night.
That could well be an indication that San Miguel Beer and TNT KaTropa are heading for more intense battles in the continuation of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven title showdown.
After splitting the first two games, the Texters and the Beermen break the deadlock in Game Three at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
At halftime, the PBA honors the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa and the members of the PBA board will be on hand in brief rites saluting the gallant soldiers of the country, particularly those who served duty in the Marawi siege.
The Texters and the Beermen are breaking a one-game-all standoff after the former won Game One at 104-102 then the latter fought back with a 102-88 triumph in Game Two.
A relief for the Texters was RR Pogoy escaping suspension for a flagrant foul penalty 2 on Arwind Santos at the 8:39 mark of the third quarter. The TNT rookie hotshots was meted a hefty P30,000 fine, though.
Nonetheless, emotions are likely to be higher in Game Three because of the Game Two incident.
Santos was mad, insulted by Pogoy’s cheap shot in his groin.
“Galit na galit na galit na galit ako, ba’t niya ginawa yun, FEU pa naman siya,” said Santos,
hit while airborne with Pogoy at his back.
“Di ko na maalala kung ano yung pinagsasabi ko e. Talagang ang init ng ulo ko kanina. Isang ulo yung tinamaan niya e, alam mo yun? Lalake pa naman tayo, ayaw natin tinatamaan yung mga ganun. Panlaban natin yun. Alam niyo yan, di ba?” Santos continued.
TNT coach Nash Racela said it’s going to be a battle and his players have to stay focus and composed if they’re to have a chance in winning the series.
“We need to control our emotions more because things will not change,” said Racela.
“More than the defense of San Miguel, I know they have a scheme against Joshua (Smith), but more than the scheme of San Miguel, it was…. well the problem really was how we reacted to all the other things,” Racela added.
For San Miguel coach Leo Austria, others stepping up when one of them was struggling was the big key in their Game Two triumph.
“We’re trying to get a good chemistry. I need all of them. If one is not performing well, the others should step up. I hope we can sustain doing that,” said Austria.
June Mar Fajardo, Chris Ross, Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot delivered the goods as Rhodes struggled for only seven points.
Santos was a key spark off the bench, getting away with 16 points and six rebounds. (SB)
The Philippine Basketball Association holds two special events as part of its Alagang PBA program today, spearheading a blood-donation event and holding rites to salute the gallant soldiers of the country.
A number of PBA stars lead 300 individuals who have confirmed to join the blood-donation program slated from 12 noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Green Gate of the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Walk-ins will also be entertained in the event supported by TNT KaTropa, Fitbar, Gardenia, Chooga Chiller, Chooks-to-go, PBA Café, Crystal Clear, Fast Aid, the Philippine Red Cross, Smart Araneta Coliseum and PBA media partners Rush on Cignal and TV5.
Sen. Dick Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, is likely to grace the event.
At halftime of Game Three of the San Miguel Beer-TNT KaTropa title showdown, the PBA honors the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa and the members of the PBA board will be on hand to extend condolences and sympathies to those who died in action in the Marawi siege. The PBA is also donating some amount to the wounded soldiers and those who perished.
San Miguel Beer made sure Friday night that Josh Smith or any other TNT KaTropa player would not spring another surprise.
Charles Rhodes had a quiet night but the SMB locals put things together as the Beermen throttled to a 102-88 rout of the TNT KaTropa in Game Two of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Taking into heart their 102-104 loss in Game One, the SMB ace locals came back with vengeance in their eyes and pummelled the Ka Tropa badly in the second quarter and onwards.
June Mar Fajardo, Chris Ross, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter starred as San Miguel tied the best-of-seven championship series at 1-1.
Game Three is set at 6:30 p.m. Sunday also at the Big Dome.
The only surprise the Ka Tropa pulled off in the game was a hot 17-0 start by Jason Castro, RR Pogoy, Anthony Semerad, Kelly Williams and Moala Tautuaa.
The Ka Tropa, however, were stopped on their tracks no sooner, and the Beermen seized command, 52-43, at the half.
Fajardo came through with a double-double game with 22 points and 11 rebounds while Ross had his own near double-double effort with 20 markers and nine assists plus five rebounds.
Santos, meanwhile, was a key spark off the bench, getting away with 16 points and six rebounds.
Rhodes struggled for just seven points and 11 rebounds while Smith had 11 markers, six rebounds and five assists for TNT.
The Beermen missed their first six attempts and turned the ball over thrice before scoring a first basket courtesy of Cabagnot with already four minutes into the game.
Santos provided the wake-up call as he subbed for Charles Rhodes, scoring 11 points on 3-of-3 field goals and 2-of-2 charities as the Beermen chopped an early 17-point deficit down to eight, 24-32, at the end of the opening quarter.
The SMB coach sat out Rhodes early after committing three errors and missing three shots in the initial salvo of the contest.
And still largely through the effort of their locals, the Beermen roared on in the second period and surged ahead, 52-43, at the half.
After an early explosion of six three-pointers on a high 50-percent clip, the Ka Tropa went silent in the second period, making only 1-of-7 treys and 3-of-10 twinners.
The Beermen sustained a thorough beating of the Ka Tropa in the final half.
Josh Smith is punishing San Miguel Beer badly in the limited minutes he’s playing.
And he’s likely to be main focus of coach Leo Austria’s adjustments in the
continuation of the TNT KaTropa-San Miguel slugfest at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday.
By 12 noon Thursday, the PBA Commissioner’s Office still didn’t receive notice of import change from the TNT camp. It means Smith will play on in Game Two of the Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven series that started with a 104-102 triumph by the Ka Tropa on a last-gasp basket by Smith Wednesday night.
The Ka Tropa are determined to march on while the Beermen are eager to fight back in Game Two, with tip-off set at 7 p.m.
To many, the down-to-the-wire finish of Game One could be indication of how the series will go.
“It came down to the last shot. It’s going to be tough games. It’s gonna be whoever team that crawls it out, grinds it out,” said Smith. “I’m glad we’re the first team to get the first win so we’re three steps closer.”
The Beermen were unfazed by the Game One defeat, with coach Leo Austria pointing out the breaks just went TNT’s way in the end.
“We fought hard but we came up short because of Smith’s last shot,” Austria said.
“We had a hard time preparing for the game because we didn’t know who would be their import. Now that we know, we can devise defense to limit him and of course their perimeter shooters surrounding Smith,” Austria also said.
The SMB bench chieftain also mentioned their woeful shooting and their tons of turnovers.
“Maasim,” said Austria of their 6-of-29 three-point shooting. Their No. 1 marksman Marcio Lassiter didn’t make even one from six attempts.
“We couldn’t get the ball to our big men because we’re not making our outside shots. We should concentrate on post offense. We’ve won a lot of games on that,” said Austria.
The Beermen won the rebounding battle, 58-52, but turned the ball over 23 times, six more than those of the Texters.
“Ang laking bagay non. In fact, first half pa lang may 19 points na sila on our turnovers,” said Austria.
TNT coach Nash Racela said they have to be ready for San Miguel’s adjustments.
With Smith wreaking havoc at the post and the TNT gunners making their shots, the Ka Tropa set the pace most of Game One.
They can be more lethal if Ranidel de Ocampo will be able to return in the next game. De Ocampo was out with a slight fever Wednesday.
Hobbling and all, Josh Smith stepped up and got TNT KaTropa past reigning Philippine Cup three-peat champ San Miguel Beer, 104-102, at the start of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.
The wide-bodied TNT import continued to play through pain, delivering 21 points, including the game-winner that gave the Texters the crucial head-start in the best-of-seven championship series.
Smith nailed a semi-hook off June Mar Fajardo shortly before the buzzer, and the Texters survived the condition of their hurting import plus the absence of Ryan Reyes and Ranidel de Ocampo on their own health woes.
The TNT reinforcement’s status remains a game-day decision in Game Two at 7 p.m. Friday also at the Big Dome.
TNT coach Nash Racela said Smith’s presence of mind saved the night for them.
“I screwed up in the last play. San Miguel did a good job denying Jayson (Castro) the ball. It’s really good Josh had that presence of mind to get the ball and attack June Mar. He had no choice but to create and he did,” said Racela.
“It’s always crucial to get the first win. Doing it without Ryan and Ranidel and with Josh not 100 percent, that’s something that’s very important. It means the other guys delivered well tonight,” Racela also said.
Castro and RR Pogoy also had big games as they engaged the Beermen in a duel of spurts that went down the wire at the finish.
Pogoy fired 5-of-9 three-pointers and a career-best total of 27 points while Castro came up with a near triple-double performance with 14 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
After Smith broke the 102-all count, the Beermen found no more opportunity to tie or salvage the game.
“For me, Game One is very important. We wanted this, but the breaks didn’t go our way.
We worked hard but came up short,” said SMB coach Leo Austria.
“We have less than 24 hours to realize what’s going on, but definitely we’ll make the adjustments,” Austria added.
The Texters cranked up on offense in the second period, hitting at a 52-percent clip to race ahead, 56-51, at the half.
From a nine-point deficit late in the first period, the Texters posted a couple of eight-point margins in the second period before settling for a five-point halftime lead.
Alex Cabagnot came through with a three-point play of Kris Rosales with two seconds to go as the Beermen made the game closer going into the final half.
Charles Rhodes pumped in back-to-back treys then finished an attack on a thunderous jam as SMB posted an early nine-point lead at 31-22.
But then Smith had his own binge to spark the TNT turnaround in the second quarter.
Rhodes had collected 21 points and six rebounds while Smith had had 14 markers and three boards by the half. (SB)