PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Thompson hits big shots late as Ginebra outlasts TNT in Christmas thriller

Delfin Dioquino

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Thompson hits big shots late as Ginebra outlasts TNT in Christmas thriller

DRIVE. Scottie Thompson in action for Barangay Ginebra in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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Scottie Thompson and Barangay Ginebra win back-to-back games as they book their quarterfinal berth

MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra gifted its legion of fans who came out to support on Christmas with an 86-78 win over a depleted TNT side in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Monday, December 25.

Scottie Thompson hit the big shots late and finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists as the Gin Kings won back-to-back games and improved to 6-3 to clinch a quarterfinal berth.

The former PBA MVP took matters into his own hands down the stretch, scoring 8 points inside the final three minutes, including a pair of three-pointers that gave the Gin Kings enough separation to ward off the Tropang Giga.

A Kelly Williams drive pulled TNT within 78-82 before Thompson sank a booming shot from way beyond the arc with 32 seconds left for a seven-point lead.

Like Thompson, Christian Standhardinger also stuffed the stat sheet with 22 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals for Ginebra, which beat a TNT crew that played without Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jayson Castro.

But even without the injured Hollis-Jefferson and Castro, the Tropang Giga led by as big as 28-15 and entered the fourth quarter up 65-59 behind Calvin Oftana, who fired a game-high 27 points with 5 rebounds and 3 steals.

That lead, though, vanished as TNT got outscored 13-27 in the final frame, resulting in the Tropang Giga being held to below 90 points for the first time this conference.

Gin Kings import Tony Bishop netted 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists, Maverick Ahanmisi had 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists, while Japeth Aguilar put up 11 points and 5 rebounds in the win.

Jewel Ponferada backstopped Oftana with 14 points and 7 rebounds for TNT, which absorbed its second straight loss and fell to 4-5.

The Tropang Giga hope to win their last two games to advance to the quarterfinals, but they have to do so without Hollis-Jefferson, who will be replaced by his brother Rahlir.

Hollis-Jefferson suffered a bad fall during their win over Taiwanese ball club Taipei Fubon Braves in the East Asia Super League last December 20.

The Scores

Barangay Ginebra 86 – Standhardinger 22, Bishop 15, Thompson 12, J. Aguilar 11, Ahanmisi 11, Malonzo 7, Pringle 6, Tenorio 2, David 0, Onwubere 0.

TNT 78 – Oftana 27, Ponferrada 14, Khobuntin 13, K.Williams 7, Aurin 6, Montalbo 5, Galinato 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Cruz 0, Tolomia 0, Reyes 0.

Quarters: 13-21, 37-37, 59-65, 86-78.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.