Jones not trading barbs with Ross on 'baby' jab

MANILA, Philippines – Terrence Jones was called "mentally a baby" by Chris Ross after Game 3 of the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals, but the TNT import refused to trade barbs with the San Miguel guard.

Instead, Jones heaped praise on his teammates as the KaTropa overcame a double-digit lead by the Beermen to come away with a 115-105 win that gave them a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven affair on Friday, August 9. 

"[I] love this game of basketball and I'm not giving any credit to any dirty player, nothing like that," Jones told reporters. 

"I want to continue on talking about basketball and showing that the elevation of basketball is to work on skills and giving credit to my teammates and what we're doing to fight through anything that's going on to continue and try to get wins."

Jones had multiple run-ins in the game with several San Miguel players, most notably with Ross. 

Thrown out in the closing stretch of their double-overtime loss in Game 2, Jones escaped what could have been his second straight ejection after his headbutt on Ross in the opening salvo was called only a flagrant foul penalty 1.

Jones remained composed right after, erupting for 13 points in a 24-0 run TNT used to turn an early 19-36 deficit to a 43-36 lead. 

He was involved in another rough play in the second half as his arms got clipped by Christian Standhardinger during a battle for a rebound. 

Replays revealed Standhardinger, who was whistled for a flagrant foul penalty 1 for the act, also sneaked in an elbow to Jones' body. 

Despite all that, Jones finished with 37 points off 5 three points on top of 18 rebounds, 9 assists, and 5 blocks in the come-from-behind win. 

When asked about Ross, Jones kept a straight face and commended his teammates. 

"I think Troy [Rosario] had a great game, I think Roger [Pogoy] had a great game, I think Don [Trollano] played an excellent game tonight – Jayson [Castro] of course – and I'm excited how we come out as a team in Game 4."

Jones and the KaTropa seek to take a commanding 3-1 lead the next time they face the Beermen in Game 4 at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, August 11. – 

Delfin Dioquino

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.