PBA Commissioner's Cup: Josh Smith powers TNT past Ginebra in Game 1 of semis series

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The TNT KaTropa leaned on the high scoring exploits of Joshua Smith to grab Game 1 of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner's Cup semifinal series against Barangay Ginebra, 100-94, on Sunday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Smith led the way for TNT with 35 points and 14 rebounds.

The KaTropa got off to a hot start, beating Ginebra to the punch, 23-13, in the opening frame.

TNT would continue to press their advantage on the way to nursing a 45-37 advantage over Ginerba at the halftime break.

Things looked bleak for Ginebra in the third frame, but they managed to go on a 12-0 rally to trim the deficit down to 64-61.

But TNT stayed resilient and held a 73-66 advantage going into the payoff period.

Ginebra guard LA Tenorio kept his side close with a trey at the 3:46 minute mark to clip the KaTropa advantage 90-88.

Unfortunately, for Ginebra that was as close as they got as TNT drew first blood in their semifinal series.

Justin Brownlee paced Ginebra with 24 points in the loss.

Right after the game, TNT head coach Nash Racela was already relishing the challenge in Game 2.

"I am looking forward to adjustments in the second game, it was a tough game," Racela admitted.

Barangay Ginebra look to even up the series in Game 2 on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.