Brgy. Ginebra averted a series sweep by TNT and lived to fight for another day by hanging tough to take Game 3, 80-72, of its best-of-five affair with the KaTropa in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Tuesday night at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
Reigning Best Import of the conference Justin Brownlee overcame a slow start and delivered key baskets down the stretch as the Gin Kings kept their title-retention drive alive with the breakthrough victory.
Held to just 6 points in the first 3 quarters, the 31-year old Brownlee scored 8 points in the final frame including a jumper and 2 freebies to give his team a 6-point advantage, 74-68, going into the last 2 minutes of the match.
“Buhay pa, so we still have life. We’re still alive, we’re still kicking, and we’re still moving forward,” said a visibly relieved Brgy. Ginebra head coach Tim Cone during the post-game presser.
“It was tough. We just got to see if we can turn around and try to get two. The old cliche, one at a time. That’s what really is,” he added.
The win enabled the Gin Kings to cut the series deficit, 1-2, with Game 4 set on Thursday, August 1 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
LA Tenorio paced the defending champs with 16 points while Brownlee finished with 14. Joe Devance and Scottie Thompson contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Terrence Jones led the KaTropa with 24 points and 18 boards but committed a game-high 8 turnovers. Troy Rosario added 12 markers while Jayson Castro and Roger Pogoy chipped in 10 apiece.
Brgy. Ginebra 80 – Tenorio 16, Brownlee 14, Devance 13, Thompson 10, Pringle 9, Slaughter 8, Aguilar 6, Caguioa 4.
TNT 72 – Jones 24, Rosario 12, Pogoy 10, Castro 10, Trollano 9, Heruela 3, Washington 2, Taha 2, Reyes 0, Semerad D. 0.
Quarterscores: 21-14, 42-32, 57-57, 80-72.