MANILA - TNT import Terrence Jones registered a couple of franchise records on Sunday, when he tallied a triple-double in their 88-71 triumph over Barangay Ginebra in Game 2 of the PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals.
Jones struggled from the field, making just six of 20 shots for 15 points. But he did a little bit of everything else, coming up with 19 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 steals, and 4 blocks as the KaTropa moved on the verge of a Finals appearance.
"He just takes what the defense gives him," TNT consultant Mark Dickel said of Jones, who registered his fourth triple-double of the conference. "The other guys are learning more and more how to play with him at both ends."
According to PBA statistician Fidel Mangonon, Jones' four triple-doubles is the most in a conference since Alaska import Galen Young also reached four triple-doubles in the 2004 Fiesta Conference. It is also the most by a TNT player since Silas Mills also recorded four triple-doubles back in the 1998 Governors' Cup, when the team still played under the Mobiline banner.
Jones, who played all but 54 seconds of the game, commended his teammates for helping him reach the milestone.
"You know I give all the credit to my teammates," said the former Houston Rocket. "They're knocking down shots and knowing where to anticipate the pass, and doing their job by finishing."
"If they wanna double-team, then you know, I'm just gonna believe in my teammates to finish the play," he added.
In the first half, it was Roger Pogoy who benefited from all the attention on Jones, as the swingman repeatedly found himself wide open from beyond the arc. In the second half, it was Troy Rosario's turn, with the big man receiving drop passes from Jones after the import broke down the Ginebra defense.
Jones also lauded his teammates for their work on defense, as TNT held a usually explosive Ginebra team to its lowest scoring output in two years.
"Excellent defense, man," said Jones. "I think we all came together and really focused on what we wanted to take away, and what we wanted to do defensively, and that's what we showed tonight."
Justin Brownlee, whom Jones helped limit to 23 points in Game 1, had 25 points this time around. But Stanley Pringle was neutralized, as the guard made only one of 9 attempts for two points.
Jones said this shows the KaTropa were fully focused on what they needed to do as a team.
"We're not particularly worried about one player, but them as a team. If we can hold them to 71 points, no matter who has a lot of points, you know, that's just great defense," he added.
They have a chance to close out the series on Tuesday, and book a spot in the Finals for the first time since 2017.
Asked for their mindset heading into Game 3, Jones kept it simple.
"Just staying focused, staying with the same mentality, same preparation, and making sure we continue on finishing the job," he said.
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