After losing two straight games in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, TNT was in dire need of an inspiration.
Little do they know that it would come all the way from Seattle, Washington, where Joshua Smith’s girlfriend is due to give birth within the next 24 hours.
“The team know what I’m sacrificing outside of my foot, which is the birth of my daughter,” said the reinforcement.
The KaTropa even went out of their way to commemorate the game to the Smiths, wearing a tape on the left side of their jersey bearing the name of Smith’s girlfriend Kristy.
“It’s a rallying point because Josh has been playing hurt and his girlfriend is giving birth,” said Racela.
“If you are hurt, you could use that as an excuse to go home so that you’ll be there beside your girlfriend giving birth, but he chose to stay here and play in the Finals and work for the championship. We just want to honor Joshua and his girlfriend.”
With his family on his mind, Smith delivered a performance to remember, dropping 20 points, 15 rebounds, and two assists to carry the KaTropa to a 102-97 Game 4 win over San Miguel and equalize the best-of-seven championship series to two games apiece.
Smith shared that tasting the victory has helped in alleviating his woes and is pushing him harder to come home to the Smith household with a championship to boot.
“I’m feeling a lot better that we won, but I’ll try to get some rest and be ready for tomorrow,” he said. “The way I look at it, there’s two more games, with a chance to three, and I’ll have a chance to relax and be a dad after that. So I might as well give it all I can.”