Thompson saves day as Ginebra outlasts San Miguel to close in on PBA title
Barangay Ginebra escaped San Miguel Beer, 87-83, to move a game away from winning the title in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Scottie Thompson buried the clutch jumper off of Justin Brownlee’s bailout pass that put the Gin Kings ahead, 84-83, with 36 seconds left in the game.
June Mar Fajardo gave San Miguel the 83-78 lead with a one-handed hammer on the face of Thompson with 3:15 left in the game but this became the eventual prelude to the Ginebra comeback.
“We made the stops when we had to and Justin made a couple of nice plays down the stretch, and we pulled it off,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone. “It’s one of the toughest games I’ve played in the Finals.”
“We got that crucial Game 5 but we got to make sure we just don’t win the battle and lose the war because the war’s still out there.”
Thompson, not done with his huge jumper that gave Ginebra the lead, would put the Gin Kings up 86-83 with an open layup in transition.
San Miguel had a chance to tie the game with 23 seconds left but mustered a couple of ill-advised three-pointers with the first one being Arwind Santos’ 30-foot heave and the next one was Chris Ross’ attempt that got called as an out of bounds violation when he stepped on the sideline.
Thompson finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds for Ginebra while Brownlee had 18 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and four blocks but struggled to get the ball to the basket hitting on an 8-of-21 clip.
Renaldo Balkman had a game-high 34 points and 20 rebounds while Fajardo had 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Ginebra will shoot for the crown on Wednesday night at Mall of Asia Arena.
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