TNT Tropang Giga, refusing to go down 0-3 in their best-of-seven titular series against the league-leading Barangay Ginebra, limited Tim Cone’s ward to just 67 points — Gin Kings’ lowest output in a final’s game under the most bemedalled coach in PBA history.
Down by five points after the maiden quarter, 21-26, the Bong Ravena-mentored Tropang Giga managed to regain their composure and turned things around, unleashed an 11-to-nothing run to start the second period, and eventually gaining a 10-point cushion at the end of the first half.
Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and the rest of TNT hold on to their lead all the way to an 88-67 rout of the Kings.
Rosario, who previously had subpar performances in crucial games in the PBA playoffs and in the first two games of the conference’s finale, finally snapped out of his personal slump and scored 15 points, on top of 2 blocks.
Pogoy, meanwhile, tallied a team-high 18 points, 6 rebounds, 6 steals, and 3 assists to boost his team’s chances of winning a match against Ginebra despite the absence of TNT’s ace player, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. who just recently sustained an injury that forced him to stay on the sidelines.
For his part, veteran player Jayson Castro churned out 15 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals off the bench, while Simon Enciso chipped in 14 points, and Poy Erram contributed 12 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
“We really had to win this game – the important game for us – or else we might be swept. But it is still the same. We just won a game. They won two games. Nothing to celebrate,” said Ravena.
Despite LA Tenorio’s perfect 4-of-4 from the arc, which led to a 19-point performance, on top 6 assists, and 2 steals, other Ginebra players seem off in Game 3.
Pringle struggled to find his rhythm and scored just 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting from the field, while Japeth Aguilar had 15 points and 9 rebounds. Both scored more than 20 points in Game 1 and 2 of TNT and Ginebra’s race-to-four All-Filipino Conference finals duel.
Game 4 is slated for Sunday (December 6) at the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural Center.
Ginebra vs TNT Tropang Giga
Quarters: 21-26; 44-34; 66-56; 88-67
Gin Kings (67) – Tenorio 19, Aguilar 15, Pringle 11, Mariano 8, Thompson 8, Dela Cruz 3, Dillinger 2, Caperal 0, Chan 1, Devance 0, Balanza 0, Tolentino 0.
Tropang Giga (88) – Pogoy 18, Rosario 15, Castro 15, Enciso 14, Erram 12, Washington 9, Reyes 5, De Leon 0, Semerad 0, Montalbo 0, Vosotros 0, Flores 0.