Aguilar hits game-winning jumper as Ginebra now one win away from Finals

By Patrick Sutare

QUEZON CITY--Japeth Aguilar punched in a baseline jumper with no time left as Barangay Ginebra scored a nosed out victory over San Miguel on Friday night, 97-96, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to take the PBA Governors' Cup semifinals edge, 2-1.

The Gin Kings had the last say in what came out to be a seesaw battle between spirited sister teams.

Trailing by just a point with 17 seconds remaining, the crowd favorites were beset in a situation where the game was for them to lose.

Coach Tim Cone signaled his boys to play on after Arwind Santos bungled a possible breakaway that could have given SMB a more breathing room.

After two jumpers that both failed to hit the mark, LA Tenorio grabbed yet another board for a third serving, five ticks left. He then located Sol Mercado on the left wing before the latter dished off a pass that led to Aguilar’s dagger.

The 6’9 stalwart finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.

Scottie Thompson went berserk for the Barangay, notching his first pro-career triple double with 12 points, 11 boards and 10 assists, making him the first PBA rookie to do so in 16 years, and the first homegrown in 23 years. The staging earned him the Best Player of the Game citation.

Tenorio flirted with his own triple-double, tallying 20 points, along with 10 boards and nine dimes.

SMB was paced by import Elijah Millsap’s 24-12 statline but on a poor shooting night, making just eight out of 26 shot attempts.

Reigning MVP Jumemar Fajardo just managed to have 11 points after being saddled with five fouls.

Ginebra looks to clinch the series with a win on Sunday and make a Finals return for the first time since 2013.
Box Scores:
Ginebra 97-Brownlee 25, Aguilar 22, Tenorio 20, Thompson 12, Devance 5, Mariano 4, Helterbrand 3, Caguioa 2, Cruz 2, Mercado, 2 Marcelo 0
San Miguel 96-Millsap 24, Lassiter 15, Santos 15, Cabagnot 13, Fajardo 11, Tubid 10, Ross 8, De Ocampo 0
Quarterscores: 29-28, 51-55, 78-77, 97-96