By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
MIRACLE or breaks of the game?
The question remains as to how San Miguel pulled off their game 2 win against TNT Katropa in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals despite trailing 112-114 in the last 20 seconds of the match.
SMB equalized the PBA finals series against TNT Katropa with a 127-125 double-overtime thriller that shocked the whole Araneta crowd with a series of clutch shots and crucial turn of events.
Despite the 17-point lead by SMB, TNT continued play their brand of basketball and chip away at the lead. Sinking basket after basket, Terrence Jones and the Katropas slowly erased the deficit.
SMB went to their bread and butter, dumping the ball into the post to June Mar Fajardo to put Jones and Troy Rosario in foul trouble.
However, their defense remained inconsistent as Jones had open lanes most of the night, taking advantage of the gaps and passing to open shooters.
With 55 seconds left in the final canto, TNT seemed to take the game away from SMB as they led 105-101 off a Don Trollano jump-shot.
With momentum on TNT’s side in the clutch minutes of the game, SMB showed veteran poise as they managed to turn things around.
Terrence Romeo was on a roll all game long, tallying 29 big points, including a cold-blooded triple that tied the game at 106 to force overtime.
In the overtime frame Chris Ross played the irritant, displaying tough defense on Jones until the latter slapped him resulting in him being tossed.
But TNT was still resilient despite Jones’ absence and even gained the lead in the first OT, 114-112 with under 10 seconds left.
With 4 seconds left and Rosario missing two crucial free-throws, Ross recovered the ball and rifled a well-timed lob pass to Alex Cabagnot for an easy break-away layup.
In the second overtime, TNT put up a tough fight but the breaks of the game went SMB’s way.
The upcoming games are expected to be more physical.
With Jones tossed out in the winning moments in game 2, expect the super import to bounce back with a vengeance.