MANILA, Philippines – As long as TNT trumps San Miguel for the PBA Commissioner's Cup crown, Terrence Jones doesn't mind playing mind games.
Jones brushed off the tactics used against him by San Miguel after getting thrown out and helplessly watching TNT absorb a double overtime 125-127 defeat in Game 2 on Wednesday, August 7.
"One of the players kept talking about my Instagram and I was like, 'Okay, you follow me on Instagram. That's cool, bro'," said Jones, who finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals, and 3 blocks.
"That was funny and I don't really care about any of that."
Jones, though, might have lost his cool momentarily after he hit Chris Ross in the face with his arm, which resulted in his second technical foul and ejection with 21 seconds left in the first overtime period.
Without Jones, TNT was dragged to a second extra quarter, where San Miguel made key big plays down the stretch to knot the best-of-seven score at 1-1.
"I always want to be there for my team to fight with my guys and that wasn't possible so that's very frustrating," Jones said.
While San Miguel may have gotten under Jones' skin, the Best Import of the Conference frontrunner reiterated he has his attention only on winning.
"I'm here to try to win a championship so the only mind game they can play with me is winning 4 games before I do. I don't think I'm going to let that happen."
But in order for TNT to come out victorious in the series, Jones said they need to do a better job on defense after San Miguel led by as much as 17 points and made it rain from deep with 18 three-pointers.
Jones also highlighted the need to execute as a bunch of crucial missed free throws doomed TNT.
"We just got to make sure we can try to control the game so it's not as close down the wire and I'm still right there to have a chance to win the game."
TNT will look to regain the series lead in Game 3 at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, August 9. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.