The TNT Katropa and Blackwater Elite are sitting atop the standings after the first week of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The former is looking to reclaim its dominant ways, while the latter hopes to finally make its way to relevance after several underwhelming seasons.
Both squads won their first two games of the mid-season tournament, thanks in large part to the stellar play of the team’s respective prized lefties.
Highly-touted import and former Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones has wreaked havoc to Katropa’s opponents so far, while blue chip prospect Bobby Ray Parks Jr. has been as good as advertised for the Elite.
Jones is the real deal
With redemption in their mind after several early exits in previous tournaments, TNT made quite a splash by securing the services of Terrence Jones. The 27-year-old forward left quite an impression in his first PBA game against the NLEX Road Warriors, leading his team to victory after tallying 41 points and 14 rebounds last Wednesday.
The 6’9 banger again went ballistic for the second straight match, dropping 43 points and corralling 22 rebounds in another win versus the Alaska Aces on Saturday. Although his brilliant showcase was marred by getting ejected in the fourth quarter, the first-time PBA import’s ability to adjust to the league’s physicality and style of play right off the bat has been huge for Katropa’s early success.
— PBA (@pbaconnect) May 25, 2019
Jones has also displayed the willingness to adapt and work on his weaknesses, evidenced by his improvement in the his three-point and free throw percentage in his second PBA game. Jones shot 5-of-8 for downtown (62 percent) and made eight of his 11 fouls shots (72 percent) against Alaska.
Parks doesn’t play like a rookie
Although Parks has only played in two official PBA games so far in his career, there’s no denying that he already looks like a seasoned veteran out there.
After a sensational debut in the conference opener against Meralco last week where he scattered 20 points, eight rebounds, and two assists, the 26-year-old savant brought his A-game in his first ever showdown against the league’s most popular franchise, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
— PBA (@pbaconnect) May 24, 2019
Parks proved he has the “clutch gene” in the end, scoring 10 of his team’s 14 points in the overtime period to ice the game. The three-time ABL MVP also drained back-to-back three-pointers in the dying seconds of the game that gave Blackwater enough momentum to steal the game.
The son of the late Bobby Parks Sr. finished with 28 points (9-of-19 FG), three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
(Images from PBA)