Barangay Ginebra San Miguel bucked early offensive struggles, coming alive in the third quarter to come back from 17 points down and defeat the twice-to-beat Alaska Aces, 85-81, in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday, February 5 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Needing two wins to reach the semifinals, the Gin Kings forced the do-or-die quarterfinals contest against the second seed Aces after a massive 29-4 run to overturn the deficit and finish the third quarter up by 8.
The physical and emotionally charged contest saw Alaska coming to within a point with under 5 minutes remaining as veteran marksmen from both sides buried one big shot after another.
But 23-year-old Scottie Thompson, who sparked that third quarter rally, connected on a trey for the 4-point cushion, 80-76, as Ginebra held on for another “Never Say Die” kind of victory.
“Tough game to play, tough game to officiate, it was tough out there,” said head coach Tim Cone. “All we’ve done is just tie the series. We’re not gonna be happy about this one, we’re not gonna be cheering or high-fiving because all we did was tie the series.”
“At this point, in my mind, honestly, this game is gone already. I’m already thinking next game, I’m not even looking back on this one,” he added.