MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra kept its title retention bid alive in the PBA Commissioner's Cup with a gutsy 80-72 win over TNT in Game 3 of their semifinals series at the Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday, July 30.
Justin Brownlee took over in the final quarter and finished with a near-triple-double of 14 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks as the Gin Kings shaved their deficit in the best-of-five duel to 1-2.
It was a nip-and-tuck battle through the first 3 quarters with the score knotted at 57-57 before Brownlee – limited to just 6 points at that point – scattered 8 points in the payoff period that saw their side outscore the KaTropa 23-15.
TNT, though, did not make it easy for Ginebra and was still within striking distance with two minutes remaining as it trailed by just one possession, 72-74, following back-to-back buckets from Troy Rosario and Jayson Castro.
But a Gin Kings squad determined to avoid a sweep shut the door on defense and answered with the game-clinching 6-0 spurt to force Game 4, which will be played at the Araneta Coliseum on Thursday, August 1.
LA Tenorio finished with 16 points, Joe Devance had 13 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds, while Scottie Thompson chalked up 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists in the victory.
Stanley Pringle had 9 points and 6 rebounds, and Japeth Aguilar chipped in 6 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks for Ginebra.
Terrence Jones frolicked in the paint with 24 points, 18 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks, but the KaTropa could not finish the job in order to return to the finals for the first time in two years.
Rosario delivered 12 points, Castro churned out 10 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds, while Don Trollano put up 9 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Ginebra 80 - Tenorio 16, Brownlee 14, Devance 13, Thompson 10, Pringle 9, Slaughter 8, Aguilar 6, Caguioa 4.
TNT 72 - Jones 24, Rosario 12, Pogoy 10, Castro 10, Trollano 9, Heruela 3, Washington 2, Taha 2, Reyes 0, Semerad D. 0.
Quarters: 21-14, 42-32, 57-57, 80-72.
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.