PBA: TNT tandem paces race for BPC, Best Import honors


Posted at Aug 04 2019 02:28 PM

TNT's Jayson Castro (17) and Terrence Jones (1) are among the front-runners for Best Player and Best Import honors. ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – TNT's veteran point guard Jayson Castro and its prolific import, Terrence Jones, are leading the way in the race for the top individual awards in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the end of the semifinals.

His numbers dipped a little, but Castro remains in the third spot – the highest-ranked player in the stats derby among those who played in the semifinals.

Blackwater's Ray Parks and Columbian Dyip's CJ Perez remained at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, with their 37.2 and 36.1 statistical point averages. However, the Elite failed to make it past the quarterfinals, and the Dyip did not progress to the playoffs.

Meanwhile, rookie Robert Bolick of NorthPort bumped off TNT's Roger Pogoy at the fifth spot at the end of the semifinals.

Through the semifinals, the Top 5 are as follows: Parks, Perez, Castro (33.7), San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo (32.9) and Bolick (32.46).

From fifth place, Pogoy has dropped all the way down to No. 9 with an average of 30.8 points. At No. 6 was Sean Anthony (32.45), followed by Chris Banchero (31.1), Moala Tautua (30.9), Pogoy and Matthew Wright (29.4) to round out the Top 10.

Meanwhile, Jones has kept a slim lead in the race for Best Import with 58.2 points, although he is being chased by Ginebra's Justin Brownlee (57.5) and San Miguel Beer's Chris McCullough (55.7).

Thus, their match-up in the best-of-7 finals may wind up being the deciding factor.

Jones and McCullough make a pair of two first-round NBA draftees that will compete in the PBA finals – a rarity in the local pro league.

The TNT import was picked 18th overall by Houston in 2012 and spent four years with the Rockets, suiting up later for Milwaukee and New Orleans, and reuniting with the Rockets early this year.

The SMB reinforcement was drafted by Brooklyn at 29th overall in 2015 and saw action for the Nets and later the Washington Wizards.

Going into the finals, Jones is averaging 30.2 points, 15.7 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.8 blocks, while putting up five triple-doubles.

McCullough, for his part, is norming 33.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.5 steals, and 2.5 blocks per game.

The Best Player of the Conference and the Best Import will be feted shortly before Game 4 on August 11 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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