by Jonas Terrado
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – NorthPort vs Magnolia
7 p.m. – Ginebra vs TNT KaTropa
The mettle of TNT import Terrence Jones will be tested anew as the KaTropa seek a share of the lead against defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel today in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jones is out to continue his fiery start to his maiden PBA campaign against a Ginebra squad determined to atone for its disappointing loss against Rain or Shine last week in match set at 7 p.m.
A win would put TNT in a tie for the lead with Blackwater, which sits on top of the standings at 5-1.
NorthPort, led by import Prince Ibeh, could also forge a three-way tie with Blackwater and TNT as it aims to deal Magnolia another loss in the 4:30 p.m. opener of the Independence Day doubleheader.
TNT has found success thanks in large part to Jones, who has proven his worth as a former NBA player for the Houston Rockets.
An early candidate for the Best Import award, Jones is averaging 34.2 points, 15.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.2 blocks highlighted by three 30-point games.
He has also proven to be a defensive nightmare after blocking five shots in TNT’s weekend win over Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Out to give Jones problems is Ginebra, which seeks to improve its 2-2 slate after losing 104-81 to Rain or Shine.
Coach Tim Cone urged his locals to be more productive instead of relying too much on resident import Justin Brownlee, who’s producing 33.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.8 steals and 2.5 blocks.
Meanwhile, NorthPort tries to build on its 121-88 demolition of San Miguel exactly a week ago and keep pace with the leaders.
Ibeh will be tasked to once again impose his presence in the paint for the Batang Pier.
Magnolia is hard-pressed to return to top form after opening its campaign with a 103-80 defeat to Alaska.