Thompson sparks Ginebra comeback against NLEX

Greg Slaughter had 18 points but made two crucial blocks in the dying seconds for Ginebra. PBA
By Emy Manipol

QUEZON CITY--With the NLEX Road Warriors breaking the game wide open during the late part of the third quarter that continued till the early part of the fourth quarter, Ginebra found a hero in former NCAA MVP Scottie Thompson, who played big together with co-NCAA alumnus Dave Marcelo to complete a comeback and win the match, 91-90, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.

Both squads were fighting for a position in the top six and with placing on the line; it was expected for both squads to gut it out on the court.

The first quarter ended with the teams tied at 22-all.

The offensive woes of the Kings started during the late part of the second quarter coupled by Taulava’s impressive game from the post.

The veteran big man out-hustled his younger counterparts in the Ginebra front line as NLEX trooped to the dugout carrying an eight-point advantage over Ginebra, 49-41.

The Road Warriors continued making their shots, while the Gin Kings remained scoreless for more than two minutes during the third quarter. The offensive drought from the Kings allowed the Warriors to mount a lead of as high as 22 points.

The lackluster performance of his starting unit prompted Coach Tim Cone to dig deep into his bench and filled in his second stringers.

Luckily for Coach Tim Cone, his bench players were up for the task as Thompson, Marcelo and Helterbrand played clutch offense and defense.

The Kings were staring at a 22-point deficit before Marcelo and Thompson started pumping life to the Ginebra offense.

Thompson made two crucial free throws during the dying seconds of the fourth to give Ginebra a one-point lead. 

With just over eight seconds remaining on the game clock, Sean Anthony tried to pull a quick basket but was bothered by Greg Slaughter, who made a huge block.

With just 1.5 seconds remaining on the clock, Anthony managed to elude the defense of Joe Devance but failed to make the winning basket.

Veteran center Asi Taulava played a great game against Ginebra’s Twin Towers as he top scored for his team with 21 points.

Thompson, who collided with Taulava, got hurt on the shoulder and had to troop to the bench but still finished with 14 markers. 

Box Scores:

Ginebra 91-Slaughter 18, Thompson 14, Aguilar 12, Ellis 11, Marcelo 10, Tenorio 7, Devance 6, Helterbrand 5, Caguioa 4, Cruz 4, Mercado 0, Salva 0

NLEX 90-Taulava 21, Anthony 16, Villanueva J. 11, Lanete 9, Alas 8, Camson 6, Enciso 6, Khobuntin 6, Borboran 5, Reyes 2, Villanueva E. 0

Quarterscores: 22-22, 41-49, 75-59, 91-90

Follow her on Twitter: @emymanipol