PBA Semis: Ginebra takes a game away from TNT

MANILA, Philippines – Never Say Die relived in Game 3 as Barangay Ginebra took a game from Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters, 80-72 in the 2019 PBA Commissioners’ Cup semis on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Justin Brownlee’s double-double performance ensured Ginebra a game 4
Justin Brownlee’s double-double performance ensured Ginebra a game 4 | Photo Credit: pba.ph

It’s win-or-go-home now for Barangay Ginebra and it’s so unusual for any head coach to start with an import and 4 guards. That’s what Coach Tim Cone did and it paid off as his team took an early 1st quarter lead over TNT.

Surprisingly, seldom used Mark Caguiao was one of the starters who chipped in big numbers as the Kings looked to dominate this game and prolong the series.

Katropa seemed stunned by the fast-paced and fastbreak plays of Ginebra as the first 12 minutes of the game had gone to the books and left them behind with a 21-14 disadvantage.

Back to normal programming for Coach Cone at the beginning of the 2nd period as he sent in his big men to sustain Ginebra’s lead.

TNT started to connect finally after getting caught off guard in the opener. However, Ginebra was able to counter every basket that TNT made.

More unusual occurrence for Barangay Ginebra in the second. Import Justin Brownlee had only made 2 points but it was LA Tenorio who put his squad on top and a double-digit 42-31, 1st half edge.

It was payback time for TNT as the 3rd quarter unfolded. RR Pogoy and Terrence Jones got themselves into double figures and managed to cut the lead to 4.

It didn’t take that long for TNT to taste the lead after trailing as much as 11 points.

Under 3 minutes of the 3rd period, both teams were still at the half century point mark. Credit it to the intense defensive stops of both teams towards each other that resulted to a very low scoring ballgame.

At the end of the penultimate quarter, the game was tied at 57.

Ginebra welcomed the final chapter with a back-to-back triples from Justin Brownlee and Stanley Pringle to break the deadlock.

Terrence Jones started to slow down and missed most of his shots in the 4th quarter. In contrast, Justin Brownlee who was quiet in the 1st half was very instrumental in preserving Ginebra’s lead.

Don Tollano had quite of a night as he grabbed significant boards and points in the fourth while TNT stars had seized scoring.

Even though it was still mathematically possible to catch up and with a few more seconds left on the clock, Ginebra held onto its lead to ensure a game 4.

At the sound of the buzzer, Barangay Ginebra survived, 80-72 and could tie the series at 2-all come Thursday, August 1, 2019.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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