Despite being hobbled by a foot injury, burly import Joshua Smith showed his big heart in Game One of the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals, scoring the game-winning basket to tow TNT KaTropa to a 104-102 Game One win against the San Miguel Beermen.
Smith’s status remains day-to-day but he vowed to give his all in the championship series.
“If they want me, I will still continue to play,” Smith told InterAksyon.
Smith scored 21 points and nine rebounds in Game One while also making life difficult in the paint for prized center June Mar Fajardo and the rest of the Beermen.
TNT already has a stand-by replacement in Mike Myers, but with Smith’s showing, it seems that KaTropa will go with hulking reinforcement all the way should his condition not worsen.
“But he felt a lot better. It’s always in our minds to rest him, or protect him, but he has a big heart that sometimes you just look at him and he tells you he’s okay,” TNT coach Nash Racela said.
As for the Beermen, coach Leo Austria vowed to be more prepared against Smith in Game Two.
“It’s really hard to prepare against them. Before this game, we don’t know who’s gonna play with them, but I know next game it’s gonna be Smith,” Austria said.