PBA Governors' Cup

No goodbyes yet as Ginebra forces sudden death vs TNT

Delfin Dioquino
No goodbyes yet as Ginebra forces sudden death vs TNT

INSPIRED WIN. Japeth Aguilar and Barangay Ginebra forces a rubber match against TNT.

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Justin Brownlee, Scottie Thompson, and Japeth Aguilar take over late as Barangay Ginebra beats TNT for the first time this season

MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra kept its title-retention bid in the PBA Governors’ Cup alive with an inspired 104-92 victory over twice-to-beat TNT at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, March 16.

Justin Brownlee, Scottie Thompson, and Japeth Aguilar took over late as the Gin Kings beat the Tropang Giga for the first time this season to avoid elimination.

Brownlee finished with 38 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks, Scottie Thompson churned out a near triple-double of 23 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 assists, while Aguilar delivered 21 points and 7 rebounds.

The trio came through at crunch time, combining for 23 of their last 25 points as No. 6 seed Ginebra pulled away in the final 2:30 minutes to stun the No. 3 seed TNT.

Roger Pogoy pulled the Tropang Giga within 4 points, 90-94, before Thompson and Brownlee drained back-to-back triples to build the Gin Kings a 100-90 cushion with 1:20 minutes left.

Aguilar then put the nail in the coffin with a one-handed slam for the final tally, bringing the 7,091 fans – the largest crowd in the pandemic era – to a frenzy.

“When you think about it, we won the last two conferences coming into the Philippine Cup and we had to go through Talk ‘N Text twice to do that,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.

“This is the first time we beat them since we beat them in the finals in the first bubble. They’ve had our number … they have a real good feel for what we like to do.”

Showing why the Gin Kings had a hard time beating it, TNT fought back from a 19-point deficit and knotted the score at 73-73 off an Aaron Fuller layup with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

But the lead proved to be elusive for the Tropang Giga as John Pinto hit back-to-back three pointers and Brownlee added another triple for an 82-75 Ginebra edge.

The Gin Kings then preserved a lead of at least 2 points the rest of the way before erecting their win-clinching 10-2 run.

LA Tenorio chipped in 7 points and 7 assists in the win, Pinto had 6 points and 2 steals, while Christian Standhardinger added 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Fuller netted 22 points, 19 rebounds, and 3 blocks to lead TNT, which will try to get the job done in the knockout match on Saturday, March 19.

Troy Rosario and Mikey Williams tallied 20 and 19 points, respectively, in the losing effort.

The Scores

Barangay Ginebra 104 – Brownlee 38, Thompson 23, J. Aguilar 21, Tenorio 7, Standhardinger 6, Pinto 6, Chan 3, Onwubere 0, Devance 0, Caperal 0.

TNT 92 – Fuller 22, Rosario 20, M.Williams 19, Pogoy 12, K.Williams 12, Castro 5, Montalbo 0, Erram 0, Reyes 0, Khobuntin 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.

Quarters: 28-14, 50-45, 71-70, 104-92

– 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.