Ginebra keeps on surging
Coming up with a brilliant all-around effort that has been his trump card, Scottie Thompson saved Barangay Ginebra from imploding on Sunday night, leading the Gin Kings to a classic 97-93 overtime triumph over Magnolia in the PBA Philippine Cup before a loud, jam-packed gallery at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The crafty guard had a hand in six of the Kings’ last seven points as Ginebra survived the loss of a nine-point lead late in regulation to rise to 5-3 and stay in the running for the second twice-to-beat privilege in the first round of the playoffs.
“Scottie was spectacular all-game long,” coach Tim Cone said in praise of his 6-foot-2 guard, who finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists in 41 minutes coming off the bench.
Magnolia point guard Jio Jalalon hit 20 of his 22 points in the second half, including a pull-up trey in the final 4.2 seconds of the fourth frame that forced extension at 85-all.
But instead of yielding momentum after bungling a formidable lead inside the last two minutes, the Kings held fort with Thompson leading them.
And it sort of spoiled the night Cone said he actually wanted to be LA Tenorio’s.
“LA was having his night. The players were talking about it (Saturday) night,” Cone said. “We wanted to make it a memorable one trying to get out with a win for him.”
In playing his 597th straight game, Tenorio, who finished with 10 points and eight assists, dethroned Alvin Patrimonio for the most consecutive games played to become the league’s new Ironman.
“We knew Magnolia was desperate for a win,” Cone said of the Hotshots, who dropped to 3-5 and are still a long way’s away from a playoff berth.
It was the second straight win for the Kings, who will be clashing with an equally hot team in NLEX next.
“It’s tough to ply teams with great momentum like that,” Cone said of the Road Warriors, who destroyed the Blackwater Elite 122-101, in the curtain-raiser.
“We were looking forward to stringing up wins. This is a good development for us trying to stay alive and survive,” NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said after drawing twin digits from five players and making do with a short-handed cast.
Philip Paniamogan scored 25 points, 17 of them coming in the third frame, to lead the Road Warriors, who won a second straight game and improved to 4-5.
Blackwater formally bowed out of contention after taking its eighth loss in 10 games.
Poy Erram scattered 20 points, as Kenneth Ighalo and Bong Galanza pumped in 18 and 17, respectively, to fill the void left by Larry Fonacier and Jansen Rios who are both sidelined with injuries.
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