The TNT KaTropa, off to an auspicious start as expected with high-profile import Terrence Jones, seek a second straight win as they tangle with the Alaska Milk Aces in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Saturday.
With their stronger showing in the Philippine Cup plus their acquisition of Jones, the KaTropa are the odds-on choice versus the Aces.
This Petron Saturday roadshow is set at 6:45 p.m. between teams with contrasting results in their games Wednesday over at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.
The KaTropa blasted the NLEX Road Warriors, 102-87, while the Aces suffered a shattering 81-103 defeat at the hands of a Stanley Pringle-less NorthPort Batang Pier side.
Jones played as advertised, firing away 41 points before sitting out the last 5:11 of the game in their lopsided win over the Road Warriors
Daniels, meanwhile, got off to a hot start, scoring nine points in the first period and finishing with 16 at the half but then huffed and puffed in the second half of their humbling loss to the Batang Pier.
It certainly doesn't help the Aces that top local Vic Manuel is still out.
Manuel had recovered from his old back injury but hurt his calf in practice ahead of their Commissioner's Cup debut. And coach Alex Compton is not rushing to field Manuel back.
Compton instead hopes Daniels can recover right away in a quick turnaround from their game Wednesday and do better in his second game in the local pro league.
But much focus could well be on Jones after his auspicious PBA debut.
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.
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 to keep him fresh for their next game against the Aces.
"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 shortly after the game. (SB)