Ginebra avoids sweep with signature NSD performance
Paul Lintag on Jun 15, 2017 09:30 PM
Never Say Die!
Brgy. Ginebra avoided elimination Thursday, pounding on a staggered TNT side, 125-101, at the Araneta Coliseum.
With the dominant win, the top-seeded Gin Kings are finally on the board in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals, cutting the KaTropa's series lead in half, 1-2.
Ginebra wasted little time showing its impressive firepower, dropping 34 points right in the first quarter. But as TNT mostly kept it close, the Gin Kings dropped the hammer in the second, unloading a 19-0 run for a 20-point lead, 53-33.
It was an early haymaker on the part of Ginebra as the Gin Kings continued to pounce on an All-Filipino TNT crew in the second half, even leading by as many as 32 points late in the game before eventually picking up a 24-point victory.
"It helps a lot when you make shots. And we made shots today," said head coach Tim Cone as the Gin Kings shot 54 percent from the field in Game 3.
"When we can make shots, our offense is a lot different. And it spills on our defense. The easy thing to say, is that the import didn't get much minutes tonight. We don't know what's going on," Cone added, touching on the issue of Joshua Smith leaving the game early.
Smith, TNT's towering import that has caused a ton of problems for the Gin Kings in this series, left the game in the second quarter.
At the that time, it appeared that Smith only had problems with his shoe but the 6'10" reinforcement didn't return to the game in the second half and eventually left the Big Dome early in the fourth quarter.
No word yet from the side on TNT regarding his official status.
With Smith out, it was the Gin Kings that feasted on the KaTropa with eight players scoring at least eight points.
Justin Browlee was impressive for Ginebra dropping 31 points and 11 rebounds while Scottie Thompson starred for the team's local crew, finishing with 17 points.
RR Garcia led the KaTropa with 16 points off the bench but TNT practically got nothing from its starters as Mo Tautuaa was the only one who cracked double-digits with 15.
Smith scored four points and grabbed seven rebounds in less than 10 minutes of play.
Game 4 is set on Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome with the KaTropa having a second chance to finish off the Gin Kings to move on to the Finals.
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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