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PBA: Big Scottie 3s help Ginebra put RHJ-less TNT to sleep, reach quarters

Scottie Thompson nailed the biggest of blows as Ginebra dealt TNT a disappointing Christmas, 86-78 to punch a quarterfinal ticket in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup, Monday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The 2021 league MVP finished with 12 points, highlighted by a pair of clutch three-pointers inside the game’s final 1:34 that enabled the reigning champions to complete the comeback after being down by as many as 13 points.

His first trifecta capped a 10-2 run that gave themselves an 82-76 lead, and his last one with 31.2 seconds left to play proved so painful for the Tropang Giga as it sealed the Kings their second victory in a row to go 6-3 in the standings.

“It was a real grind for us except for Scottie taking over down the stretch and making a couple of big shots, the game was basically a toss-up,” offered head coach Tim Cone. “You gotta give Jolas a lot of credit for that.”

“But that was good for us. We need to grind games out because this is basically playoff basketball. We’re coming into the end of the eliminations and all games are so important. We’re just trying to stay alive for the Top Four,” he added.

Christian Standhardinger top-scored for Ginebra with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. Tony Bishop came through with his own double-double contribution with 15 and 12, together with six dimes.

Japeth Aguilar and Maverick Ahanmisi chipped in 11 markers each as five Kings scored in double figures in the comeback that needed a little bit of everything from them as they had to overcome a depleted yet gritty Tropa side.

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TNT did not have Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jayson Castro in the Christmas affair and the crew definitely missed their presence most especially in the endgame when they squandered a 74-72 lead midway into the fourth.

Calvin Oftana took the scoring cudgels and finished with a game-high 27 points, including 19 in the middle chapters but got checked by Thompson in the final period, essentially disarming a team that badly needed stability.

“He actually asked for it,” said Cone of Thompson guarding Oftana, who became his good pal during their Gilas Pilipinas stint. “He was getting loose and during a timeout … he said, ‘Let me have him, let me have Calvin.'”

“And so we switched him over to Calvin. Obviously, it was a great coaching move by Scottie to do that,” added Cone, beaming with pride.

Veteran big man Jewel Ponferrada made 14 points and seven rebounds, while Glenn Khobuntin supplied 13 markers for the Tropang Giga, which lost their second game in a row and dropped to 4-5 in the standings.

The Scores:

Ginebra 86 – Standhardinger 22, Bishop 15, Thompson 12, J. Aguilar 11, Ahanmisi 11, Malonzo 7, Pringle 6, Tenorio 2, David 0, Onwubere 0.

TNT 78 – Oftana 27, Ponferrada 14, Khobuntin 13, K.Williams 7, Aurin 6, Montalbo 5, Galinato 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Cruz 0, Tolomia 0, Reyes 0.

Quarterscores: 13-21, 37-37, 59-65, 86-78.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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