Ginebra takes wild overtime win in Game 2 to tie series
Scottie Thompson was a beast for the barangay as the Gin Kings tied the Philippine Cup Finals at one game each (Photo courtesy of the PBA).
LUCENA CITY --- In an instant classic, Brgy. Ginebra was able to avoid an epic collapse to score a major victory in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
After losing a 26-point lead, the Gin Kings were able to pull through in extra time, beating the San Miguel Beermen, 124-118, in OT Sunday at the Quezon Convention Center here.
After losing Game 1 by 27 points, Ginebra has tied the best-of-7 series at one game each thanks to the combined clutch effort of more than a handful of players.
Down 108-110 with 3.2 seconds to go, Joe Devance forced overtime after having the presence of mind to recover is own miss and put the ball back through the hoop as time expired.
His heads-up play was the game-changer for the Gin Kings as Scottie Thompson and Sol Mercado helped Ginebra ice the win in the dying seconds of overtime.
Thompson, who finished with a near-triple double of 18 points, career-high 18 rebounds, and eight assists, drove for a big layup with 53.4 seconds to go, giving the Gin Kings a 122-118 lead.
Mercado then dropped the dagger 20 seconds later as Ginebra bounced back quite nicely after an embarrassing Game 1 performance.
Japeth Aguilar led the Gin Kings with 23 points, two coming from a huge two-hand dunk over June Mar Fajardo, to go along with 12 rebounds. Kevin Ferrer added 21, 18 coming in a torrid shooting display in the second period that gave Ginebra a 65-39 lead.
Devance scored 16 and grabbed seven boards while LA Tenorio chipped in with a quiet 15 points. Mercado added 11.
"What a game, huh? Just goes to show how good San Miguel is, in terms of their ability to come back from a 24-point halftime deficit. They just dominated us in that third quarter and most of the fourth," head coach Tim Cone said.
"The only thing we did good is we were resilient. We fought with the ups and downs, and we continued to battle, we found a way to put it into overtime," he added.
The Beermen, who lost Marcio Lassiter to ejection and both Fajardo and Chris Ross to fouls also came up with more than a handful of clutch plays that almost pulled off what would have been the biggest comeback in a PBA Finals game.
Down 24 at the break, San Miguel matched Ginebra's 39-point quarter behind the incredible shooting of Lassiter. Super Marcio exploded for 19 points in the third quarter before he got ejected for taunting Sol Mercado. He was previously called for a flagrant foul penalty 1 in the first half as well.
With Lassiter gone and Fajardo fouling out late in the fourth, the two-time Philippine Cup champions turned Arwind Santos, Gabby Espinas, and Ronald Tubid for firepower.
Santos struck first as the 2013 MVP buried a three to tie the game at 106 with about 30 seconds to go. After Aguilar made two free throws to put Ginebra back up by two, Espinas then scored the go-ahead triple for a 109-108 San Miguel lead.
Come overtime, Tubid scored back-to-back treys to tie the game for the last time at 118.
Santos finished with 23 points and 21 rebounds for the Beermen while Lassiter scored 21.
Ross ended up with 16 points and 11 assists and Tubid likewise scored 16. Alex Cabagnot and Espinas contributed 13 apiece while Fajardo had a quiet 10.
Game 3 is set for Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
GINEBRA 124 - Aguilar 23, Ferrer 21, Thompson 18, Devance 16, Tenorio 15, Mercado 11, Ellis 8, Marcelo 6, Cruz 4, Taha 2.
SAN MIGUEL 118 - Santos 23, Lassiter 21, Ross 16, Tubid 16, Cabagnot 13, Espinas 13, Fajardo 10, Heruela 4, De Ocampo 2, Agovida 0, Reyes 0.
Quarters: 28-20, 67-43, 85-82, 110-110, 124-118
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