Tony Semerad delivered four crucial three-pointers in crunch time to power TNT KaTropa to a 107-103 win over Barangay Ginebra in Game 2 of the best-of-five semifinals series of Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Commissioner’s Cup on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
With their second straight win, the KaTropa are now a win away of making it to the finals.
Semerad, who finished with 14 points, fired four triples in crunch time including his last trey that put the KaTropa on a 105-103 lead with only 53 ticks left and TNT’s import Joshua Smith denied Justin Brownlee’s game-tying reverse shot in the ensuing play.
Smith, who scored 16 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks, put the icing on the cake in TNT’s win in Game 2 by scoring a put back off a Jayson Castro’s miss three-pointer that gave the KaTropa some breathing space, 107-103, with only eight ticks left in the game.
Ginebra, then, failed to score in the remaining seconds as the final buzzer sounded.
“It was a collective effort, but it was the of Tony (Semerad) that was glaring,” said TNT coach Nash Racela. “Coach Tim (Cone) used a lot of adjustments earlier. We saw some of those adjustments, but we have a hard time countering it.”
Rookie Roger Pogoy added 14 points, while Jayson Castro had 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and Kelly Williams tallied 12 points also for TNT.
Ginebra was ahead with a slim cushion heading into the payoff period, 85-84, before Semerad took charge by hitting three straight triples when it mattered most.
His third triple helped KaTropa seize the lead, 102-100, with still 3:58 to go in the game.
Playmaker LA Tenorio gave Ginebra its last taste of the lead after scoring a three-pointer, 103-102, with 1:12 to go before Semerad answered with a three-pointer allowing TNT to get the lead back.
The Gin Kings were scoreless in the final minute.
Import Brownlee led Ginebra with 22 points and 12 rebounds.