PBA Finals: Ginebra drops TNT in OT to take Game 1

MANILA, Philippines – Ginebra rookie Arvin Tolentino forced the game into OT and Japeth Aguilar finished Game 1 off to grab the series lead as they edged TNT Tropang Giga, 100-94, in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Sunday, November 29, 2020 at the Angeles University Foundation Gymnasium in Angeles, Pampanga.

Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel stays hot in the bubble as the Kings score a 1-0 Finals Series lead vs. TNT Tropang Giga. Photo Credit: pba.ph

Both TNT Tropang Giga and Brgy. Ginebra won their respective semis series in a notable fashion as the last 2 teams closed out their rivals in a do-or-die. Both squads just needed a day of preparation to start the race to the Philippine Cup title.

As expected, finalists’ stars Stanley Pringle and Bobby Ray Parks Jr. started their best-of-7 duel match up. Pringle and Parks Jr. both showed terrific 1st quarter basketball but it was Ray Ray who had the slight advantage after the 1st 12 minutes and put TNT on top, 27-22.

Before the opening quarter ended, Parks Jr., showed off his leaping ability as he posterized Arvin Tolentino with a left hand thunder jam.

Ray Ray Parks who had a clean start slowed down in the 2nd period. In contrast, Game 5 hero Scottie Thompson stepped up and snatched the lead from TNT.

Stan Pringle and LA Tenorio accompanied Thompson at the offensive end to maintain Ginebra’s half-shot lead, 42-41 heading to the 2nd half.

TNT’s defense loosen in the 3rd quarter that paved a way for the Gins to widen their advantage. Double black eye for the Tropang Giga as Jayson Castro sprained his right foot and was forced to sit down.

Good news for TNT as Castro returned after several minutes and Ray Ray Parks heated up from the outside to reclaim the lead, 71-66 at the end of the third.

PBA fans were delighted in the final quarter as the antagonists traded basket after basket and played a very tight game.

TNT felt the pressure as its leading scorer, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. was on the verge of fouling out as he committed his 5th personal.

Tropang Giga was down by two-possessions but veterans Jay Washington and Jayson Castro made crucial three pointers to take over Ginebra. Rookie Arvin Tolentino, however, shocked TNT and sent the game into overtime with a wide open layup.

TNT went scoreless for 3 minutes and Ginebra capitalized on its rival’s shooting woes to seal Game 1, 100-94.

Game 2 will be on Wednesday, December 2 at 6 pm.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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