The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel has survived and logged their first victory in the semis against the TNT KaTropa, 80-72.
Ginebra’s coach Tim Cone surprised Talk ‘N Text head coach Bong Ravena and their consultant Mark Dickel with what seems to be unusual first-five.
Coach Cone has fielded Mark Caguioa, LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, Stanley Pringle and their import Justin Brownlee.
That Gin Kings combination was quick enough to adjust on their defense as TNT likes to spread the floor and look for their open long-range bombers.
That lineup gave Ginebra its biggest lead particularly in the opening quarter for them to gain control of the game and dictate the tempo.
In the following quarters, coach Cone deployed Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter at the same time to confuse their opponent’s defense.
Yet in the third quarter, led by KaTropa import Terrence Jones, the usual cut to the basket of Troy Rosario and the blurry speed of Jayson Castro, Talk ‘N Text took the lead for this first time.
That was after Castro nailed his three-pointer at the 5:22 mark, 50-49. Both teams were tied at 57-all at the end of the opening quarter of the second half.
In the fourth quarter, the Gin Kings once again reclaimed the lead and they were successful in protecting that small advantage until the final buzzer was pressed.
Ginebra is no longer winless in their best-of-five semis series as they now make it to a 1-2 score.
Justin Brownlee was named the Bida Player of the Game. The beloved import of Ginebra delivered 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Almost the entire game he played as the main defender of Terrence Jones the main reason why he got that low scoring production.
Jones paced the KaTropa with his 24 points and 18 rebounds output.
With the victory, the Gin Kings and Talk ‘N Text will return on Thursday at the Big Dome for Game Four.
Justin Brownlee To Scottie Thompson Connection
Ginebra vs TNT KaTropa Game 3 Semi-Finals Box Score
Quarters: 21-14 | 42-32 | 57-57 | 80-72
Gin Kings (80) – Tenorio 16, Brownlee 14, Devance 13, Thompson 10, Pringle 9, Slaughter 8, Aguilar 6, Caguioa 4.
KaTropa (72) – Jones 24, Rosario 12, Pogoy 10, Castro 10, Trollano 9, Heruela 3, Washington 2, Taha 2, Reyes 0, Semerad D. 0