ANTIPOLO -- Terrence Jones, showing probably just a glimpse of what he can do in his initial outing in the local pro league, fired away 41 points before sitting out the last 5:11 of the game as TNT KaTropa trounced NLEX, 102-87, in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Wednesday at the Ynares Sports Center here.
Jones actually got off to a flat start before cranking up in the second period to lead a mighty TNT pull-away en route to a good, victorious first outing in the mid-season tourney.
The KaTropa were enjoying a 20-point spread at 95-75 with 5:11 to go when coach Bong Ravena called it a night for their highly touted import.
Jones, a US NCAA champ with the Kentucky Wildcats and a six-season NBA veteran, displayed his scoring prowess in his 41-point explosion on 16-of-33 clip.
He also came through with 14 rebounds, four assists and two blocks in what's the most impressive performance so far among the imports in the tourney.
And it was a good birthday present for the TNT bench chieftain.
"Thank you for the win. Importante yon sa amin sa tournament na ito where you need to pile up wins as early as you can," said Ravena.
And he gave their debuting import a thumbs up.
"Scoring-wise okay talaga siya. Wala kang hahanapin sa kanya offensively. He can score anytime he wants. Pero mas importante sa amin ang team defense. Gusto namin makatulong siya sa amin sa sistema namin sa depensa," said Ravena.
"Ang concern namin at the start kung maka-adjust siya agad sa laro dito sa atin at sa team chemistry. Buti naman nag-deliver siya, and hopefully magtuloy-tuloy," Ravena also said.
Definitely, it's not all about Jones as the KaTropa locals had their sterling effort as they pounced on the lethargic NLEX side, 34-16, in the second period to open a 52-39 spread at the half.
They sustained their push in the third, thus, padding the lead to 81-60 at the end of the third.
The KaTropa were well in control when Ravena opted to give Jones a rest for good in preparation for their quick turnaround versus Alaska Milk on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Anthony Semerad and Kelly Williams were two TNT locals who finished in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Jason Castro added nine markers, five dish-offs and four boards.
The NLEX import, meanwhile, was good for only 18 markers and 16 boards. (SB)