Brownlee stars as Ginebra stays alive
Ginebra kept its flickering hopes in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals alive with a rousing 125-101 blowout of TNT in Game 3 Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Justin Brownlee anchored the Gin Kings rescue mission as he scattered 31 points, on a 4-of-8 shooting from threes, alongside 11 rebounds, four blocks, three steals, and two assists for the top-seed.
Scottie Thompson added 17 markers, five boards, and four dimes, while Japeth Aguilar corralled 15 points, four rebounds, three rejections, and two assists in the dominant win.
Sol Mercado chimed in 12 markers and five assists, while Joe Devance had 10 points, five boards, and three dimes for Ginebra.
“It helps a lot when you make shots. And we made shots today. When we can make shots, our offense is a lot different and it spills on our defense,” said coach Tim Cone, as Ginebra went 54-percent from the field in the survival game.
Brownlee commandeered the 22-2 rampage for Ginebra in the second quarter as it took a commanding 56-35 lead.
Though TNT roared back with a 12-0 blast to cut the deficit to nine, 56-47, late in the first half, the Gin Kings continued to press on the gas pedal in the ensuing periods, leading by as high 32, 125-93, on a Paolo Taha jumper with 1:37 left.
The KaTropa failed to complete the series sweep as import Joshua Smith played subpar on his nine minutes on the floor.
The burly reinforcement complained pain on his right foot which was earlier reported as an injured right pinkie caused by his shoe, prompting him to leave the game with the fourth quarter still yet to be played. He finished with four points and seven rebounds in the game.
TNT gets another shot to close out the best-of-five series on Saturday with Game 4 set at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.
The Ginebra defense also shut down the other TNT leaders, with Jayson Castro limited to just seven points, three assists, and two rebounds, and Game 2 hero Anthony Semerad being held to a measly three markers.
RR Garcia paced the KaTropa with 16 points, three rebounds, and three assists, while Mo Tautuaa tallied 15 markers and five boards.
GINEBRA 125 – Brownlee 31, Thompson 17, Aguilar 15, Mercado 12, Devance 10, Ellis 9, Cruz 9, Tenorio 8, Ferrer 5, Mariano 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, Hernandez 6, Nuyles 6, Smith 4, Pogoy 4, Semerad 3, De Ocampo 3, Golla 0, Tamsi 0.
Quarters: 34-28, 61-47, 96-74, 125-101.
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