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Ginebra escapes Glen Rice’s 44, TNT in heated affair for 2-1 lead



Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Ginebra escapes Glen Rice's 44, TNT in heated affair for 2-1 lead Basketball News PBA  TNT Katropa Tim Cone Scottie Thompson PBA Season 42 Nash Racela LA Tenorio Kelly Williams Justin Brownlee Joe Devance Jayson Castro Greg Slaughter Glen Rice Jr. Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Anthony Semerad 2017 PBA Governors Cup

The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel showcased excellent end-game composure as they escaped the TNT Katropa, 106-103, in a tension-filled Game Three of the 2017 Governor’s Cup Semifinals, Friday night at a packed SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Gin Kings now lead the best-of-five series, 2-1, moving a win away from clinching the last seat of the Finals.

“That was a great game for both teams. Both teams played well and it just came down to the last shot. It went in our favor,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “But the series isn’t over, the series isn’t won. This just gave us the lead.

“It’s nice to have (the lead), but certainly not a safe one especially against a team like TNT,” he said.

Joe Devance starred for the Barangay with 20 points. Greg Slaughter supplied 19 points and six rebounds, while Justin Brownlee finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Scottie Thompson also fired 17 and had 12 boards.

Down 96-98 after Glen Rice, Jr.’s freebies and with 3:38 remaining in the final period, Justin Brownlee’s booming trey from the wing sparked the Barangay’s 7-0 scoring spree and helped them take the upper hand, 103-98, with 1:33 to go.

Rice, Jr. sank charities once more to trim Ginebra’s lead to just three. TNT’s chances of tying the match went high after Brownlee committed an offensive foul, but Jayson Castro’s triple clanged off the rim with 53 seconds left.

Brownlee saw an opening at the other end to improve his side’s gap, but his pull-up jumper also missed. Luckily for him and the Barangay, Devance was there at the rim, and his put-back with 32 ticks left gave them a 105-100 lead.

Rice, Jr. then went aggressive for TNT, but his dunk attempt was whistled for a technical foul for deliberately hanging on the rim. Brownlee trooped to the line and calmly sank the bonus to give Ginebra a 106-100 cushion with 27 ticks left.

TNT’s import did not stop there, willing the Katropa 13 seconds later with a triple. And just like moments earlier, their chances of tying the bout rose up, as Thompson failed to convert both of his charities with seven seconds on the clock.

The Katropa drew up a play for the game’s last five seconds. Rice, Jr. was the one appointed to take a shot, but despite creating enough space for a triple, his shot went in and out, giving a sigh of relief and the win for Ginebra.

“We played well tonight and they played their style well tonight that’s why it came down to a last shot,” added Cone. “That’s what’s gonna happen when you have two good teams like that. Very pleased but job isn’t done yet.

“We still got a lot of work,” Cone expressed.

LA Tenorio supplied 16 points, nine rebounds, and eight dimes for Ginebra.

Ginebra’s win wasted Rice, Jr.’s effort of 44 markers, 20 rebounds, and six assists. It also put to naught Jayson Castro’s numbers of 17 points, nine caroms, and nine dimes; and Kelly Williams’ 10 markers and 13 boards.

There was a huge disparity in free throws in favor of Ginebra as they went 30-of-43 from the line. The Katropa, meanwhile, shot just 12-of-14.

Aside from the grind-out affair, tensions rose late in the first half between TNT coach Nash Racela and SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua. The heat between the two extended to the dugout, where they had to be separated.

Game Four is set on Sunday, October 8, 6:30 PM still at the Big Dome.

The Scores:

Ginebra 106 – Devance 20, Slaughter 19, Thompson 17, Brownlee 17, Tenorio 16, Aguilar 8, Mercado 7, Ferrer 2.

TNT 103 – Rice Jr. 44, Castro 17, Semerad 10, Williams 10, Pogoy 7, Rosario 7, Golla 3, Reyes 3, Seigle 2, Nuyles 0, Tautuaa 0, Chua 0.

Quarterscores: 31-26, 60-49, 85-80, 106-103.