Few days after he shot a dagger three that paved their victory against the Meralco Bolts to advance in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, Scottie Thompson handed the win to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel anew with his game-winning shot Wednesday.
Down by a single point, 89-90, Stanley Pringle’s assist on the dying seconds of the fourth quarter was converted by the high-leaping Thompson into a clutch corner trey that eventually led to a 92-90 win for the first-seeded Barangay Ginebra and a 2-0 lead ahead of their Game 3 showdown.
With Bobby Ray Parks Jr’s absence due to a left calf strain, Roger Pogoy stepped up and scored a game-high 38 points, on top of four rebounds and three steals. Pogoy knocked down five treys and pulled down four rebounds.
TNT’s lead ballooned to as high as 15 points — with Simon Enciso and Jayson Castro contributing 15 and 13 points apiece. This, however, was later on trimmed down by the Tim Cone-head coached Ginebra.
Japeth Aguilar, who played stellar basketball the last time out, was well-defended and limited by TNT. He only scored six points all game long.
On the contrary, Pringle tallied a team-high 34 points, six rebounds, and eight assists, while Aljon Mariano chipped in 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds. They are the lone Gin Kings who scored in double figures in Game 2.
“It was certainly a struggle for us all game long. I thought that Talk ‘N Text dominated us for more than three quarters in the game. We were able to make a run in the end. We were saying, even at halftime, we haven’t played well collectively, we haven’t played well individually,” said Cone.
“I thought that as much as LA, Stan, and Scottie did their thing down the stretch, Aljon’s contribution was just exceptional. He played with a toughness that we needed tonight. We really needed someone to step up and make the tough plays. Be a physical presence out there. He doesn’t back down to anybody, and that’s why we love him so much,” added Cone.
“When they started to stretch the lead out, we didn’t panic. We weren’t forcing things. We were still taking our time, trying to methodically work back in the game. And JD (Joe Devance) kept yelling at timeouts, ‘One point at a time. We can make it back.’ Frankly, I wasn’t so sure. JD had more faith than me,” Cone further said.
Game 3 is slated for Friday (December 4) at the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural Center.
Ginebra vs TNT Tropang Giga
Quarters: 21-17; 36-40; 68-70; 92-90
Gin Kings (92) – Pringle 34, Mariano 20, Dillinger 8, Chan 6, Aguilar 6, Tenorio 5, Devance 4, Tolentino 4, Thompson 3, Caperal 2.
Tropang Giga (90) – Pogoy 38, Enciso 15, Castro 13, Erram 11, Rosario 11, De Leon 2, Reyes 0, Carey 0, Semerad 0, Montalbo 0, Washington 0.