Defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel erased TNT Tropang Giga’s playoff bonus after eking out a 104-92 win in the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.
Scottie Thompson did the damage in the endgame as the Kings came out with a strong fourth quarter rally, leading the locals with 23 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in almost 46 minutes of action.
Justin Brownlee showed the way with team-high 38 markers, and was also a menace in defense as he collected 12 rebounds, three blocks and one steal.
Big man Japeth Aguilar also showcased his best game of the conference with 21 points and seven rebounds, highlighted by his one-hand slam that iced the game with 24 seconds left.
With that, both teams in an all-important rubber match set on Saturday at 4 pm.
Squandering what was once a 19 point lead in the first half, the Kings struggled to keep their momentum going until Tropang Giga sniper Mikey Williams tied things up, 71-all, early in the fourth.
Ginebra, which was marred by inconsistencies in the entire eliminations, turned things around with Brownlee and Pinto nailing three straight long bombs to gain control, 82-75, 8:31 left.
The Kings never looked back as Thompson displayed energy all over the place, allowing Christian Standhardinger to put the spread in double-digits, 102-92.
Aaron Fuller led TNT’s offense with 22 points and 19 rebounds, while Troy Rosario had 19 points.
GINEBRA (104) – Brownlee 38, Thompson 23, J. Aguilar 21, Tenorio 7, Standhardinger 6, Pinto 6, Chan 3, Onwubere 0, Devance 0, Caperal 0
TNT (92) – Fuller 22, Rosario 20, M.Williams 19, Pogoy 12, K.Williams 12, Castro 5, Montalbo 0, Erram 0, Reyes 0, Khobuntin 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0
QUARTERS: 28-14, 50-45, 71-70, 104-92