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Hot-handed Semerad sizzles as Tropa takes 2-0 semis lead

Anthony Semerad unleashes a three-pointer over the defense of Ginebra import Justin Brownlee in this piece of PBA action at the MOA Arena.

By Ricky Manliguis

PASAY CITY-- Anthony Semerad found his touch in crunchtime as TNT are a win away from a trip to the finals with a 107-103 victory over Barangay Ginebra in Game 2 of the PBA Commissioners’ Cup seminal series at the Mall Of Asia Arena.

The fourth-seeded KaTropa pounced on the endgame collapse of the crowd darlings as the former San Beda stalwart buried four consecutive triples in the final 5:21 of the game to overturn a four-point deficit into a 105-103 cushion, time down to 53 seconds.

Import Joshua Smith then sealed the deal with a monster putback off a Jayson Castro three-point attempt with 8.1 left.   

Semerad, obtained from a three-team trade with NLEX and GlobalPort earlier in the conference, finished the match with 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting beyond the arc . Player of the Week RR Pogoy also cashed in 14, while Castro and Kelly Williams booked 12 apiece.  

Smith, coming off a 35-point, 13-rebound performance in Game 1, was shackled all game long yet still chalked up a double-double of 16 markers and 15 boards.

Ginebra, dominating the majority of the match thanks to its defence on Smith,  last tasted the lead at 103-102 as L.A. Tenorio buried a triple on the 1:12 mark of the final canto only to succumb in the end, missing its final three attempts.

This is the first time the Tim Cone-mentored squad suffered back-to-back defeats this conference.

Justin Brownlee and Tenorio finished with 22 points each as the Gins will try to avert a sweep in Game 3 slated Thursday at the Big Dome.  

The scores:
TNT 107 - Smith 16, Semerad 14, Pogoy 14, Castro 12, Williams 12, Garcia 8, Rosales 8, De Ocampo 7, Reyes 6, Rosario 6, Tautuaa 4, Carey 0.
Ginebra 103 - Brownlee 22, Tenorio 22, Aguilar 17, Devance 14, Thompson 13, Mercado 7, Caguioa 2, Mariano 2, Ferrer 2, Marcelo 2, Helterbrand 0, Cruz 0.

Quarterscores: 22-26, 56-59, 84-85, 107-103.

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