MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Japeth like it’s hot.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel defeated the San Miguel Beermen in Game 3 of their semifinal series, 97-96, thanks to a game-winning baseline jumper by Japeth Aguilar as time expired on Friday, September 30, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
In what was a classic contest which required a dramatic ending, Ginebra escaped with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-5 series against the defending champion, bringing the team one more victory away from its first finals appearance in 3 years.
Aguilar finished the game with 22 points and 8 rebounds, while Ginebra import Justin Brownlee had 25 points and 7 boards. Scottie Thompson became the first rookie in the last 15 years to record a triple-double with 12 points, 11 boards, and 10 assists.
San Miguel was led by the 24 points and 12 rebounds of import Elijah Millsap. Arwind Santos added 15 points.
The game was a back-and-forth tussle, the type that gave a hint early on that it would be decided in the final seconds. And that became the case.
A Santos jumper put San Miguel ahead 96-95 with 38 seconds left. On the next play, Sol Mercado missed on a 3-pointer, but the Beermen were unable to capitalize as Santos missed on a lay-up.
Ginebra got the ball back with 17 seconds left and did not call time-out. Brownlee missed a triple with 7 rebounds remaining on the clock, but Thompson gathered the offensive board and then missed his put-back.
Ginebra had another crack at a shot as the offensive board went to LA Tenorio, who gave the rock to Mercado. The guard attacked the paint and set up an open Aguilar who hit the basket and sent Ginebra fans into a frenzy.
Game 4 of the series is on Sunday, October 2.
Barangay Ginebra (97): Brownlee 25, Aguilar 22, Tenorio 20, Thompson 12, Devance 5, Mariano 4, Helterbrand 3, Caguioa 2, Cruz 2, Mercado 2, Marcelo 0
San Miguel (96): Millsap 24, Lassiter 15, Santos 15, Cabagnot 13, Fajardo 11, Tubid 10, Ross 8, De Ocampo 0
Quarter scores: 29-28, 51-55, 78-77, 97-96 – Rappler.com
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