|Stanley Pringle kept Ginebra afloat offensively before Scottie Thompson won it at the final buzzer. PBA Images|
MANILA--On the day when Meralco governor Al Panlilio was elected first vice president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, the team was poised to give him a congratulatory gift from Angeles: a win that would propel them to their first PBA Philippine Cup Finals appearance.
Scottie Thompson, however, played spoiler in the end.
Thompson scored the game winner as Ginebra stole the finals seat away from Meralco with an 83-80 win in the final game of the season semifinals at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Prince Caperal found Thompson open from the left flank for him to sink a three pointer with 0.5 second left to eventually give the Barangay the clincher in their best-of-five series against the Bolts for their second straight finals appearance.
With no timeout left, Chris Newsome was forced to take a desperation heave from beyond halfcourt that missed the target.
Stanley Pringle led Ginebra, which will face TNT in the best-of-seven finals starting on Sunday night, with 22 points, eight rebounds, and one assist.
Thompson added a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds with seven assists and one steal.
Newsome put up 15 points, six rebounds, and six assists for Meralco, which was still up six with six and a half minutes left but lost steam in the end, although Reynel Hugnatan kept the team alive with a triple that tied the count at 80-all with 14.5 seconds to go.
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