Photo from PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra lives another day after hacking out a dramatic 107-103 win over Magnolia in Game 3 of 2018 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, November 14.
Justin Brownlee tied his career-high 46 points to go with 19 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals for the Gin Kings, who erased an 18-point deficit to avoid elimination and finally tally a victory in the best-of-five series.
But it wasn't just the American import who shone as LA Tenorio came up big at crunchtime by burying the go-ahead floater and coolly sinking the insurance freebies that sealed the win for Ginebra.
Capitalizing on a Paul Lee turnover, Tenorio broke free from Jio Jalalon's pesky defense and knocked down a running floater for a 105-103 Ginebra lead with 14 seconds left.
Lee had a chance to regain the lead for the Hotshots but missed a long bomb, paving way for Tenorio to drill in two crucial foul shots with barely a second remaining.
Tenorio finished with 14 points, 5 rebound and 5 assists while Scottie Thompson chalked up 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists for the Gin Kings.
Japeth Aguilar had 11 points and 7 rebounds and Joe Devance bucked off a fractured left foot to put up 8 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in the win.
The Gin Kings were comfortably ahead 100-89 midway through the 4th quarter until the Hotshots erected a blistering 14-1 spurt – capped by back-to-back Romeo Travis layups – to take a 103-101 lead.
But Magnolia's bid to sweep the series ended there after Thompson knotted the score at 103-all and Lee turned the ball over in the next possession.
Travis was limited to a PBA career-low 12 points to go with 10 points and 3 rebounds.
The loss also saw Mark Barroca's 19 point-point and 5-assist outing go to waste after he propelled the Hotshots to a lead as big as 18 points in the first half.
Scoreless in the maiden period, Barroca erupted for 12 big points in the 2nd quarter as Magnolia enjoyed a 56-38 advantage.
But the Gin Kings turned the tides in 3rd quarter and momentarily held a 79-78 lead before Barroca restored order with a buzzer-beating triple that gave the Hotshots an 81-79 advantage heading into the final frame.
Lee churned out 17 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals while Ian Sangalang had 16 points and 11 boards in the loss.
Game 4 is at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City on Friday, November 16.
Ginebra 107 - Brownlee 46, Thompson 15, Tenorio 14, Aguilar 11, Devance 8, Chan 5, Mercado 3, Slaughter 3, Caperal 0, Ferrer 0.
Magnolia 103 - Barroca 19, Lee 17, Sangalang 16, Travis 12, Jalalon 10, Brondial 10, Dela Rosa 8, Simon 5, Melton 3, Reavis 3, Herndon 0, Gamalinda 0.
Quarters: 23-22, 41-58, 79-81, 107-103.
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.