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KaTropa drub Aces, move up to tie for early lead

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Jones leads TNT anew to victory (2:20)

Terrence Jones put up another monster performance of 43 points and 22 rebounds to lead the TNT KaTropa to a 99-85 win over the Alaska Aces. (2:20)

There was excitement from the camp of the TNT KaTropa heading into the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup as they knew they had a really good import to help them out. So far, Terrence Jones has been all TNT wanted and more as the talented reinforcement did even better than his already impressive debut to lead the KaTropa to a 99-85 victory against the Alaska Aces, Saturday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Fresh off getting 41 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists in his first ever PBA game, Jones followed up with another big-time performance with 43 points, 22 rebounds, and five assists while also adding three steals and two blocks. Even though he was not able to finish the game, Jones did more than enough damage to keep their record clean.

He shot an impressive 15 of 28 from the field and also vastly improved his free throw shooting. However, the biggest part of his game was his three-point shooting as he went a perfect 3 of 3 in the fourth period to make sure TNT would pick up their second straight win.

With the offense mostly flowing through their import, the TNT locals were more than willing to take a step back and let him run the show. Still, they produced when needed for the KaTropa with Jayson Castro leading the charge with 14 points along with four rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks. Anthony Semerad chipped in 11 points while RR Pogoy and Troy Rosario combined for 17.

TNT made a move on the Aces at the start of the third quarter as Jones powered a 9-2 run for the KaTropa to take a 59-50 lead and force Alaska head coach Alex Compton to burn an early timeout.

Alaska fought back gamely with triples from Chris Daniels and Kevin Racal as well as additional help from Chris Banchero as they pulled within two points of the Katropa, 64-62. However, the KaTropa went to a 9-1 run, seven of which came from their import to lead by double digits 73-63 heading into the final quarter.

The KaTropa pounced on the Aces early in the fourth courtesy of triples from Jayson Castro and Jones as they led 83-67. TNT's advantage would balloon to as many as 19 points midway through the period after another triple from Jones and a layup from Troy Rosario.

The Aces showed signs of life late in the game with a last-ditch effort to bounce back after also losing their last contest. Jeron Teng made two free throws to cut their deficit down to 11 points, 90-79, but Jones responded with another triple for TNT.

However, Jones would have an early ending in the contest as he committed an unsportsmanlike foul on Jake Pascual that sent him out of the game for good as he also had a technical foul whistled on him earlier in the game.

Yousef Taha subbed on for their import and immediately made an impact by getting a steal off Daniels and scoring on the other side to extend their lead to 15, 95-80.

What made it tough for Alaska to stay within striking distance of the KaTropa was their carelessness. Alaska committed a whopping 27 turnovers in the game with nine coming from their import. TNT took full advantage of this as they had a 39 to 17 edge in points off turnovers.

Daniels finished with 23 points and 19 rebounds while JVee Casio had one of his best games in the recent conferences with 22 points, four rebounds, and four assists, going 8 of 12 from the field.

TNT remains undefeated at 2-0 while Alaska falls to 1-2, losing their last two games after scoring a win in the conference opener.

THE SCORES

TNT 99 - Jones 43, Castro 14, Semerad A. 11, Pogoy 9, Rosario 8, Heruela 7, Trollano 4, Taha 2, Williams 1, Semerad D. 0, Casino 0.

Alaska 85 - Daniels 23, Casio 22, Banchero 12, Racal 8, Pascual 7, Teng 5, Enciso 4, Thoss 2, Cruz 2, Exciminiano 0, Baclao 0, Galliguez 0, Ayaay 0.

Quarterscores: 24-23, 50-48, 73-63, 99-85.

EXTRA DRIBBLES

- Chris Banchero made his comeback in the game after missing Alaska's last contest against the NorthPort Batang Pier. After recovering from a mild calf injury, he finished with 12 points against the KaTropa.

- Missing in the ball game for Alaska was Simon Enciso who averaged 14.5 points in their first two contests. He only had four markers against TNT as he went 2 of 12 from the field.

NEXT GAMES

TNT: May 29 vs NorthPort Batang Pier at the Mall of Asia Arena

Alaska: May 29 vs NLEX Road Warriors at the Mall of Asia Arena