Emotions are high. But at the end of the day, it’s the team that stays focused and plays better ball – no-nothing, no-extras – that is likely to win the championship.
That’s the growing consensus even among the protagonists in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, heading into the critical Game Four at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.
The TNT KaTropa, enjoying a good break the last time after a bad one in Game Two, go for a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven title playoff.
TNT regained the series lead in Game Three following a 115-105 victory in the contest that Terrence Jones should not have finished at all for a head-butting infraction on Chris Ross. Jones was assessed a P20,000 fine by the league Saturday as the Commissioner’s Office upgraded his flagrant foul penalty 1 to penalty 2.
An earlier incident between Jones and Ross resulted to the ejection of the TNT import in Game Two – a terrible blow for the KaTropa leading to their sorry 125-127 defeat in double-overtime.
Ross has admitted he’s playing mind game with Jones and he’s expected to do just that for the rest of the series. There’s also Christian Standhardinger who has had a running physical matchup with Jones.
And so an extra task for the TNT think-tank is to continuously talk to Jones to keep his cool.
“Sinasabihan namin to stay focused, be patient, and don’t lose your head,” said TNT coach Bong Ravena.
No question, Jones is a monster of an import when he’s just focused on the game.