Smith scores the game-winning basket for TNT to grab Game One

Josh Smith pulled off a lay-up to help the TNT KaTropa Texters in a 104-102 win over the San Miguel Beermen in Game One of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Wednesday.

Playing with pay and at times hobbling, Smith finished with 21 points including the game-winning basket as the Texters surprised the Beermen. Smith was at the center of conversations in the past few days if KaTropa really needed to find a replacement but the team sticking to him paved the way to be ahead of the series.

Embroiled with injuries, TNT did not have Ryan Reyes and Ranidel Ocampo also but the team managed to stage a win. However, Smith saved the day with that hook shot against Beermen’s June Mar Fajardo. While the Texters captured the first game, the status of the Smith is day-to-day going on forward.

Jayson Castro played an all-around game with 14 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists to help the Texters in staying in the game. Also, Roger Pogoy scored 27 points and 5-for-9 three-pointers to lead in scoring for the Texters.

The Beermen played with tough through import Charles Rhodes with 31 points while Fajardo posted 18 points and 13 rebounds. Chris Ross also played well with 11 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds.

“I screwed up in the last play. San Miguel did a good job denying Jayson (Castro) the ball. It’s really good Josh had that presence of mind to get the ball and attack June Mar. He had no choice but to create and he did,” said Racela.

“It’s always crucial to get the first win. Doing it without Ryan and Ranidel and with Josh not 100 percent, that’s something that’s very important. It means the other guys delivered well tonight,” Racela also said.

Game 2 will be on Friday at 7:00 PM at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

A BS Political Science from the Saint Louis University, Baguio City. Norvelyn shares her passion in writing Philippine Sports.