US NCAA champ and six-year NBA veteran Terrence Jones, tipped to titillate the PBA fans, makes his debut in the local pro league as TNT KaTropa and NLEX clash in Day 2 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo Wednesday.
Jones is a newcomer to watch with the great credentials he's bringing in with the KaTropa team of the coaching tandem of Mark Dickel and Bong Ravena.
Listed as a 6-foot-9 power forward, Jones was the 18th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft and averaged in double figures in three seasons with the Houston Rockets and the New Orleans Pelicans.
He registered a career regular season average of 10.4 points in 234 games and playoffs norm of 9.1 in 25 games from 2013-15.
He's had a reputation as a scorer from his high school years in Jefferson in Portland, Oregon to his stint with the Kentucky Wildcats team that he helped win an eighth national championship in 2011-12.
In April, 2012, Jones was one of six Wildcats to enter the NBA draft along with Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb and Darius Miller. All six players were drafted, setting a record for most players from one school drafted in the NBA draft.
In his second season in the NBA, Jones averaged a career-best 12.1 points per game.
The question is will Jones, 29, tick with the KaTropa and create a bonding that will translate to victories.
TNT is looking for a better showing after making the playoffs as fourth seed in the last all-Filipino tourney but bowing to eventual champion San Miguel Beer in a best-of-three quarters series.
Jones is to make his initial outing with the KaTropa versus the Road Warriors who are introducing Curtis Washington of Georgia State.
The 6-foot-10 Virginia native, 27, went undrafted in the NBA in 2015 and drifted with teams in the Universal Basketball Association, Liga Nacional de Basquet in Argentina, NBA D-League, in Canada, Domican Republic, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, and most recently with the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the ABL.
The Road Warriors hope Washington can provide them a boost for a turnaround from a ninth-place finish in the last Philippine Cup.
NLEX finished at joint eighth with Alaska Milk and Columbian Dyip at 4-7. The Road Warriors missed the quarters as they dropped a knockout playoff with the Aces, 80-88. (SB)