MANILA, Philippines – Not letting anyone get into his head, Terrence Jones powered TNT to a 109-96 romp over San Miguel in Game 1 of the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals on Sunday, August 4.
The Beermen had Christian Standhardinger, Arwind Santos, Kelly Nabong, and Chris Ross take turns in guarding Jones in hopes of taking away his rhythm and in an attempt to get under his skin.
But the KaTropa import showed immense composure as he scorched hot for 41 points on a stellar 61% shooting to go with 12 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 blocks.
"I'm used to it, but you know, this is the championship so I'm definitely emotional as well," Jones said of his foes' defensive antics.
"I love to play the game, I want to win, so I'm here to not let anybody punk me. But I'm definitely, you know, trying to stay calm and stay poised to make sure I stay in the game for my team."
Jones had multiple minor run-ins during the course of the game, most notably with Ross, whom he hit with an elbow to the face as he tried to make a move on offense.
To make matters worse, Jones even stepped on Ross' left leg right after the incident.
But Jones clarified he did not do it on purpose. (READ: Ross feels elbow to the face from Jones done on purpose)
"I mean they called an offensive foul and I guess he felt I was on him or something. I tried to help him up to let him know that wasn't intentional, but he didn't want my help," he said.
"It's the playoffs, I don't really care, so next game."
Jones and TNT seek to make it two wins in a row when they tangle with San Miguel in Game 2 at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, August 7. – 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.