Barangay Ginebra San Miguel scored the final nine points to outlast Rain or Shine 98-89 for its third straight win Saturday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Back-to-back baskets by import Justin Brownlee ignited the decisive windup following an 89-all tie that enabled Ginebra to forge a tie with idle Meralco for fourth spot with a 4-2 record after the featured match of the Petron Saturday Special.
Scottie Thompson hit a corner three off a Stanley Pringle assist that gave Ginebra a 96-89 lead with 1:38 left in the fourth to kick off a stretch of three games in eight days on a winning note.
“It was really a tough game. And honestly, it’s the kind of game that we needed to have: a grindout, down the stretch game,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
Ginebra is due to play Blackwater on Wednesday before taking on Meralco on Nov. 3.
Import Kwame Alexander made 20 points and 10 rebounds and Gabe Norwood and Rey Nambatac added 14 and 10 but Rain or Shine fell in a tie at the bottom with Phoenix Pulse, Alaska and Blackwater.
The Elasto Painters and the three aforementioned teams have identical 2-6 slates, 1 1/2 games behind seventh and eighth placers NorthPort and Magnolia which carry 3-4 records.
Rain or Shine took its biggest lead 75-67 on a Norbert Torres layup late in the third. But Ginebra answered with a 12-4 run to tie the count at 79-all in the payoff period.
The lead changed hands four times before Norwood tied the count at 89-all, 3:50 left in the fourth.
GINEBRA 98 — Brownlee 39, Tenorio 11, Thompson 11, Pringle 9, Slaughter 8, Dela Cruz 8, Aguilar 8, Caperal 4, Mariano 0, Chan 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 89 — Alexander 20, Norwood 14, Belga 13, Nambatac 10, Mocon 8, Torres 7, Ponferada 5, Daquioag 4, Rosales 3, Borboran 3, Exciminiano 2.
Quarters: 28-20; 46-43; 69-75; 98-89.