Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings is a win away from ending their 13-year drought in the PBA All-Filipino tourney after they trounce TNT Tropang Giga last Sunday, 98-88, to claim a commanding 3-1 lead in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
From a 67-88 meltdown in their Game 3 titular duel, Barangay Ginebra bounced back strong as they dished out what their head coach Tim Cone felt like their best game in the entire PBA bubble.
From the 2-point line and beyond the arc, the Gin Kings showed their dominance anew, foiling Tropang Giga’s bid for an equalizer.
Veteran player Japeth Aguilar put on a show and dunk several times and tallied 22 markers, while others chipped in points as they successfully shoot treys one after the other.
LA Tenorio, who, just like Aguilar, scored 22 points, pumped in back-to-back triples to close out Game 4.
“He (Tenorio) was really calm under pressure. RR Pogoy was making incredible shots, and they’re getting pumped up. It’s hard to respond, but that’s what LA did,” said Cone.
“He came down and made two huge responses for us from the three-point line, and that kind of took the sails right out of Talk ‘N Text because they were all getting pumped up. I’ve used this word a lot lately, but he has no fear. He is going to take that shot. He has been taking that shot for his whole career,” added Cone.
“A three-point shot over there, then he came back and hit a three-point shot back at (Pogoy). Three-point shot over there and came back and hit another three-point shot back at (Pogoy). That was cold-blooded, really cold-blooded,” Cone further stressed.
All in all, Tenorio fired four three-pointers and finished with six assists, three steals, and two rebounds.
For their part, Stanley Pringle and Scottie Thompson contributed 16, and 11 points apiece, with the latter had a near triple-double as he also came through with 11 rebounds and nine assists.
In a losing effort, Roger Pogoy anchored once again TNT with a game-high 34 points.
Bobby Ray Parks Jr. remained on the sidelines while Jayson Castro was helped to their bench in the third quarter and never returned.
Barangay Ginebra goes for the kill when it meets TNT in Game 5 on Wednesday, while the latter fights to extend the series to a Game 6 and eventually force the series into a decider Game 7.
Ginebra vs TNT Tropang Giga
Quarters: 17-14; 49-39; 76-60; 98-88
Gin Kings (98) – Tenorio 22, Aguilar 22, Pringle 16, Thompson 11, Devance 8, Dillinger 7, Chan 6, Caperal 6, Mariano 0.
Tropang Giga (88) – Pogoy 34, Erram 19, Rosario 16, Enciso 10, Reyes 3, Semerad 2, Castro 2, Vosotros 2, Washington 0, De Leon 0, Montalbo 0.