Barangay Ginebra Kings and Magnolia Hotshots eked out contrasting victories as action continued in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday, November 6.
The Kings put up a gallant never-say-die fightback to snatch a 97-96 win over the San Miguel Beer, thanks to the huge trey from Scottie Thompson with barely 4.8 seconds left in the game. His and Justin Brownlee’s double-teaming defensive effort on Beermen import Devon Scott enabled them a steal as time expired.
Ginebra erased an 18-point deficit, 76-56, to escape past the formidable Beermen before a roaring 10,000 Big Dome crowd.
Ginebra Thompson and Brownlee key efforts
The 5-2 Kings, thus, boosted their top-four chance in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations while stopping the Beermen’s two-game run. The 3-4 San Miguel tied NLEX at No. 8.
With both teams in a 94-all deadlock, barely 43.9 seconds remaining, it was anybody’s ball game until Brownlee and Thompson’s game-winning basket and defensive effort.
Thompson said, “Yung winning shot, to be honest, galing kay Justin Brownlee. Siya nagsabi as soon as the ball is tossed in the air, go to the corner. At dumating ang bola, and thank you sa tiwala niya (The winning shot, to be honest, came from Justin Brownlee. He said as soon as the ball is tossed in the air, go to the corner. And the ball came, and thank you for his trust).”
Jamie Malonzo took a jump ball with CJ Perez, and the ball was tapped over to Brownlee who then looked for Thompson, all ready to take the ball in the corner.
Brownlee erupted with 33 points, 11 boards, and nine assists. He earlier put up a 23-11-11 performance in Ginebra’s 111-90 triumph over Terrafirma in their last outing.
Malonzo and Japeth Aguilar each scored 13 points amid the absence of injury-stricken Christian Standhardinger.
Thompson also praised teammates Aljon Mariano and Nards Pinto for making big shots and big plays when they were trailing behind.
“Dahil sa kanila nagkaroon kami ng chance makabalik (If it were not for them, we would never have the chance to come back),” said Thompson.
In another game, Magnolia Hotshots proved too much for Blackwater whom they demolished, 91-69, behind the heroics of Nick Rakocevic and Ian Sangalang who sank 17 apiece along with Jio Jalalon who delivered a double-double output (13 points, nine assists) but it was entirely a team effort that made the big difference in the match.
Magnolia’s win, which came after its 97-103 loss to Barangay Ginebra on Oct. 23, improved to a 6-1 record.
Jason Webb, who subbed for Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero, said in a post-game interview: “This is probably our best defensive game of the year, that’s the key there.”
He said that the team lived up to their identity of playing very good defense and that’s what they focused on for two weeks.
The Hotshots, however, did not have it easy as they had to shake off some of the rust from the long break after Typhoon Paeng canceled their supposed game against Rain or Shine.
Fortunately, they were able to get their act together as the game progressed following a poor percentage average ( 33 percent) in the first period.
Ato Ular made 14 baskets while Cameron Krutwig was only limited to eight points.
The Box Score:
Barangay Ginebra 97 – Brownlee 33, Thompson 14, J.Aguilar 13, Malonzo 13, Mariano 8, Pringle 4, Pinto 4, Pessumal 3, Gray 3, Tenorio 2, R.Aguilar 0.
San Miguel 96 – Scott 26, Perez 19, Cruz 14, Enciso 14, Manuel 13, Tautuaa 8, Lassiter 2, Ross 0, Herndon 0.
Quarters: 19-29, 46-53, 63-80, 97-96
Magnolia 91 – Rakocevic 17, Sangalang 17, Ahanmisi 14, Jalalon 13, Barroca 9, Abueva 6, Wong 4, Zaldivar 4, Laput 4, Escoto 2, Dionisio 0, Corpuz 0, Mendoza 0.
Blackwater 69 – Ular 14, Jackson 10, McCarthy 9, Krutwig 8, Suerte 6, Ayonayon 5, Ebona 4, Sena 3, Banal 2, Publico 2, Melton 2, Taha 2, Go 2, Amer 0.
Quarters: 19-22, 44-37, 70-55, 91-69