The Philippine Star
GINEBRA PUTS TNT IN 2-0 HOLE
Game Friday (AUF Sports Arena Powered by Smart 5G) 6 p.m. – TNT Tropang Giga vs Barangay Ginebra (Ginebra leads series, 2-0)
SMART CLARK GIGA CITY – Barangay Ginebra’s never-say-die spirit came to the fore as the Gin Kings rallied past TNT Tropang Giga, 92-90, to seize a 2-0 lead in the PBA Philippine Cup title series last night at the AUF Sports Arena Powered by Smart 5G.
Stanley Pringle and Aljon Mariano kept the team afloat amidst the Tropang Giga juggernaut. Then Scottie Thompson and LA Tenorio took over in the closeout to steal Game 2 and send Ginebra two wins away from the coveted crown.
Pringle scattered 34 points, six rebounds and eight assists while Mariano added 20 markers and nine boards. The duo led their second-half fightback from as high as a 15-point deficit.
Not much of a factor all game, Thompson and Tenorio stepped up to the plate when needed most.
After Pringle and Mariano pushed Ginebra to within one at 85-84, Thompson did an encore of his game-winner in the semis rubbermatch against Meralco, and hit the go-ahead trey with 30.5 seconds left.
Tenorio, the Game 1 hero who was scoreless in the early goings, made five free throws down the stretch to seal it.
The Gin Kings spoiled the 38-point explosion of RR Pogoy, who carried the cudgels for TNT in the absence of top gun Bobby Ray Parks Jr. due to calf injury.
“It was certainly a struggle for us all game long. TNT dominated us for more than three-quarters of the game and we’re able to make a run at the end,” said coach Tim Cone.
Tenorio finished with five and Thompson three while Japeth Aguilar managed only six.
This was offset by the stellar game of Mariano, who joined forces with Pringle in wiping out TNT’s 56- 41 margin in the third and overturning the Tropang Giga’s 84-77 upperhand in the last 4:12. The Scores Barangay Ginebra 92 – Pringle 34, Mariano 20, Dillinger 8, Chan 6, Aguilar 6, Tenorio 5, Tolentino 4, Devance 4, Thompson 3, Caperal 2.
TNT Tropang Giga 90 – Pogoy 38, Enciso 15, Castro 13, Erram 11, Rosario 11, de Leon 2, Carey 0, Reyes 0, Montalbo 0.
Quarterscores: 21-17, 36-40, 68-70, 92-90