|Justin Brownlee fired 31 points to keep Ginebra in contention in its Game 3 win over TNT.|
By Ricky Manliguis
QUEZON CITY-- TNT eyed nothing but a sweep. Ginebra,though, had other plans.
Displaying the “never-say-die” attitude yet again, the Gins demolished the KaTropa, 125-101,to live for one more game in Game 3 of the PBA Commissioners’ Cup semifinals Thursday night at the Big Dome.
Fueled by the appearance of no less than legendary Robert Jaworski, Justin Brownlee and the rest of the Gin Kings feasted on a short-handed TNT squad in a blistering second-half display to trim the series deficit to 1-2 heading into Saturday’s crucial Game 4 at the Cuneta Astrodome.
After a slim 34-28 advantage adter the opening canto, the Gins pulled off in the second to take a commanding 61-47 buffer and never looked back since.
Brownlee led the charge with 31 points, missing seven of his 17 attempts from the field, while pulling down 11 rebounds, four blocks, two assists, and two steals in 33 minutes before resting the entire fourth quarter with the Gins comfortably ahead, 96-74.
Scottie Thompson stepped up in Game 3 with 17 points, while Japeth Aguilar, Sol Mercado, and Joe Devance combined for 37 points.
TNT lost import Joshua Smith due to an apparent foot injury at the 6:54 mark of the second and never returned since. He finished with just four points on 2-of-6 shooting.Smith’s foot will be evaluated to see the extent of the injury.
RR Garcia paced the Tropa with 16 points, while Mo Tautuaa finished with 15 in lieu of Smith.
Ginebra 125 – Brownlee 31, Thompson 17, Aguilar 15, Mercado 12, Devance 10, Ellis 9, Cruz 9, Tenorio 8, Ferrer 5, Mariano 5, Taha 2, Jamito 2, Helterbrand 0, Caguioa 0
TNT 101 – Garcia 16, Tautuaa 15, Carey 11, Reyes 9, Rosario 8, Castro 7, Rosales 7, Hernandez 6, Nuyles 6, Smith 4, Pogoy 4, Semerad 3, De Ocampo 3, Golla 0, Tamsi 0
Quarterscores: 34-28, 61-47, 96-74, 125-101.