Terrence Jones' triple-double propelled the TNT KaTropa to a 115-97 rout of the Blackwater Elite in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. TNT clinched a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals after getting its seventh straight win and ninth overall in 10 games.
Jones delivered 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 14 assists in the victory. He shot an efficient 70 percent from the field and knocked down six of his nine 3-point attempts.
Jayson Castro flirted with a triple-double of his own as he finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and 10 assists.
The KaTropa began pulling away in the second quarter by hitting a barrage of 3s. They unleashed a total of 19 3-point shots in the game, 11 more than their opponents' output from long range.
TNT moved the ball well and dished 32 assists, 24 of which came from Jones and Castro.
Coach Bong Ravena insisted that it was their tight defense that allowed them to get open shots and prevail over Blackwater.
"We really planned to lock in on defense, be consistent with it, play hard, and manage to pull through," said Ravena. "We need to make it a habit to play great defense. Of course, our import played really well and the locals stepped up again."
The Elite dropped to a 6-4 card with the loss. Ray Parks topped with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists, while Mike DiGregorio added 19 points. Staphon Blair had a 16-point, 16-rebound outing.
TNT 115 - Jones 36, Rosario 14, Castro 13, Heruela 12, Pogoy 12, Trollano 11, A. Semerad 8, Magat 4, Casino 3, Taha 2, Reyes 0, Golla 0, D. Semerad 0.
Blackwater 97 - Parks 21, Digregorio 19, Maliksi 16, Blair 16, Belo 10, Sumang 4, Alolino 3, Banal 2, Dario 2, Sena 2, Desiderio 2, Cortez 0, Tratter 0, Al-Hussaini 0, Jose 0.
Quarterscores: 25-23, 60-43, 91-66, 115-97
Terrence Jones became the first player to record back-to-back triple-double numbers since Ginebra's Justin Brownlee did the feat in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup, according to PBA's chief statistician Fidel Mangonon.
Aside from Jones and Castro, four more KaTropa scored in double-digits: Troy Rosario (14 points), RR Pogoy (12), Brian Heruela (12) and Don Trollano (11).
This is the first time that TNT will finish in the top two heading into the playoffs since the 2017 Governors' Cup.
Blackwater vs. Alaska, July 14 (Sunday) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
TNT vs. Magnolia, July 17 (Wednesday) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.