Hurting Smith leads TNT to Game 1 win over SMB
Joshua Smith, playing hurt since the semis, drilled a tough hook shot in the closing seconds of the game to give the TNT KaTropa a 104-102 win over the San Miguel Beermen in Game 1 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals last night at the Araneta Coliseum.
With the Beermen able to tie the game at 102 with 7.6 seconds left after trailing by as many as 10 in the fourth, TNT went to Smith for the win and the 300-pound big man was able to deliver, powering his way to the basket in a one-on-one play against San Miguel’s Cebuano big man June Mar Fajardo.
Smith, who was playing with a bad foot, finished with 21 points while Talisay City, Cebu-native RR Pogoy led the KaTropa with a new career-high of 27 points.
San Miguel import Charles Rhodes had 30 points but was struggling in the middle quarters due to foul trouble.
Rhodes had a terrific start for the Beermen, scoring 21 in the first quarter alone as San Miguel led by as many as nine in that stretch.
TNT, behind Pogoy, took over in the ensuing quarter and went on to build a 9-point lead in the third.
The KaTropa extended their lead to 10 in the last 2:40 of the fourth before SMB ignited a 14-4 run to tie the game at 99 under the last two minutes.
Jayson Castro gave TNT some breathing room when he hit a three pointer with 44 seconds left for a 102-99 count.
San Miguel tied the game anew via freethrows, the last two from Chris Ross, before Smith sank the game winner.
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