Photo by PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED)－Top seed Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings avoided a semifinals sweep as they pounded the TNT KaTropa, 125-101, in Game 3 of the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals on Thursday, June 15 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
With their backs against the wall, the Gin Kings erupted for an early 61-47 halftime cushion and listed a notable advantage in the assists department, 34-20.
Justin Brownlee pitched in a game-high 31 points to go with 11 boards, while Scottie Thompson added 17 markers, 5 rebounds, and 4 dimes for Ginebra.
Japeth Aguilar missed only two shot attempts and finished with 15 points and 4 boards, while Sol Mercado and Joe Devance had 12 and 10, respectively.
“There’s the burden of being the number one seed, the pressure to go along with the number one seed,” said Ginebra head coach Tim cone after his team’s huge win.
“I think today we just kind of had an underdog mentality, and that helped us. Hopefully that will carry on [to Game 4].”
TNT sorely missed the dominant presence of import Joshua Smith in the paint, as he only punched in 9 minutes on the court. The topscoring reinforcement grabbed 7 rebounds and finished with 4 points in the losing effort of the KaTropa, who turned the ball over 17 times throughout the match.
The KaTropa trailed and failed to find an answer for the Gin Kings’ offensive onslaught as they shot 45% from the field.
Jayson Castro, who logged in only 15 minutes, delivered 7 points and 3 assists, while RR Pogoy also had a quiet night of 4 markers on 2-of-7 shooting.
RR Garcia meanwhile led all TNT scorers with 16 markers coupled with 3 assists, while Mo Tautuaa had 15 points and 5 boards.
Game 4 of this best-of-5 semis series is on Saturday, June 17 at the Cuneta Astrodome.
GINEBRA (125)- Brownlee 31, Thompson 17, Aguilar 15, Mercado 12, Devance 10, Ellis 9, Cruz 9, Tenorio 8, Mariano 5, Ferrer 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, Nuyles 6, Hernandez 6, Pogoy 4, Smith 4, De Ocampo 3, Semerad 3, Williams 2, Golla 0, Tamsi 0
Quarter scores: 34-28, 61-47, 96-74, 125-101