Scottie Thompson delivered another go-ahead three in the clutch as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel came back to beat TNT, 92-90, Wednesday and take a 2-0 lead in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Thompson converted an open trey in the right corner off a pass by Stanley Pringle with 30.5 seconds left that gave Ginebra an 87-85 lead, a shot that came five days after sending his team to the title series with a three-pointer to beat Meralco in the semis.
It was Thompson’s only field goal, highlighting an evening that saw some of Ginebra’s key players going cold and TNT controlling most of the second half despite the absence of Ray Parks Jr. due to a strained calf.
Parks was in uniform but didn’t play, opening the door for RR Pogoy to erupt for 38 points, including a three-pointer that gave the Tropang Giga a 54-39 lead in the third.
But like in Game 1 when it prevailed 100-94 in overtime, Ginebra was able to find ways to get another win and move halfway closer to its first Philippine Cup title under coach Tim Cone.
“It was certainly a struggle for us all game long, and I thought TNT dominated us for more than three quarters of the game and we’re able to make a run at the end,” said Cone.
Pringle had 34 points, six rebounds and eight assists and Aljon Mariano turned in a career-high 20 points with nine rebounds as the two were consistent amid the struggles of Thompson, LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar.
They got help from veterans Jared Dillinger and Jeff Chan, who hit back-to-back triples in a run that saw Ginebra tie things up at 68-all late in the third.
TNT was able to regain control of the game in the fourth, taking an 84-77 lead on a Pogoy triple, only for Ginebra to tighten its defense and score seven unanswered, with Pringle making the last five, to tie things up with under two minutes left.
Jayson Castro made just one of two charities, 53.1 seconds left, for an 85-84 TNT lead before Thompson came through with the corner triple that brought Ginebra in front.
Castro tried to send the lead back to TNT but his three-pointer hit the back rim and Tenorio hit one of two charities for an 88-85 Ginebra advantage.
Pogoy went for a contested three for the tie that missed and Tenorio added two more foul shots for 90-85, less than 10 ticks left that virtually sealed the Kings’ win.
GINEBRA 92 — Pringle 34, Mariano 20, Dillinger 8, Chan 6, Aguilar 6, Tenorio 5, Devance 4, Tolentino 4, Thompson 3, Caperal 2.
TNT 90 — Pogoy 38, Enciso 15, Castro 13, Erram 11, Rosario 11, De Leon 2, Reyes 0, Carey 0, Semerad 0, Montalbo 0, Washington 0.
Quarters: 21-17, 36-40, 68-70, 92-90.