PBA: TNT bucks early struggle to down San Miguel, go up 2-1 in finals


Posted at Aug 09 2019 09:47 PM | Updated as of Aug 09 2019 09:59 PM

A pair of 3-pointers by RR Pogoy essentially broke San Miguel's back en route to a TNT victory in Game 3 on Friday. PBA Media Bureau

RR Pogoy scored 29 points, including a pair of timely 3-pointers late, as TNT downed San Miguel Beer 115-105 on Friday to take a 2-1 lead in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals.

Game 4 is on Sunday still at Araneta Coliseum.

Terrence Jones had another brilliant game, despite an uneven start to Game 3 that saw him get called for a flagrant foul and a third personal foul that forced him to sit for a significant time in the first quarter.

He finished with 37 points, 18 rebounds, 9 assists, 5 blocks and just 1 turnover in 44 minutes of play, leading all 5 TNT starters in double-digit scoring.

Jones also had 5 3-pointers, finding his range after missing all 9 attempts from behind the arc in Game 2.

Don Trollano stepped up, too, for the undermanned KaTropa contributing 18 points, while Jayson Castro tallied 14 points and 7 assists.

Trailing 107-97 with 3:12 left in the game, San Miguel had a chance to further threaten.

But Pogoy hit a high-arcing 3-pointer to extend TNT’s lead, then after Chris McCullough made a layup Pogoy drilled another bomb to make it 113-99 with 2:19 remaining.

The Beermen would make just one basket the rest of the way.

The series of wild swings that characterized the end of Game 2 spilled over into the first half of Game 3.

Jones was called for a flagrant foul on Chris Ross, forcing him to sit for 3 minutes in the first quarter. Like Jones, Troy Rosario committed a third personal foul in the same period.

With TNT feeling the 2 players' absence, momentum swung San Miguel's way, as the Beermen zoomed to a double-digit lead, erecting a 36-19 lead early in the second quarter, thanks to Terrence Romeo's 3-pointer.

But the KaTropa came back in a huge, fiery way, going on a 24-0 run in a 7-minute span to regain the driver's seat 43-36, with Jones scoring 13 points in that stretch.

A 3-point play by McCullough put San Miguel in front again 50-48, before TNT countered with key defensive stops that forced the Beermen to a pair of turnovers and allowed the KaTropa to score 7 straight and go up 55-50 at the break.

TNT extended its lead to 11, 83-72, 90 seconds left in the third.

The Beermen cut the deficit to 88-85 in the fourth thanks to 2 free throws by June Mar Fajardo, but the KaTropa retaliated with back-to-back 3-pointers by Don Trollano and RR Pogoy to stretch the lead further to 9, 94-85, 3 minutes into the quarter.

Fajardo led San Miguel with 27 points, but the Beermen couldn’t get their shooters going, as they made only 8 of 26 from downtown (30%), compared with TNT’s 39% clip (15 of 38).

McCullough, who was subbed out for 8 minutes because of foul trouble in the second half, added 27 points of his own.

Pogoy and Jones each had 5 3-pointers.

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