PBA: Ginebra rips TNT to cut series deficit to 2-1


Posted at Jun 15 2017 09:13 PM | Updated as of Jun 15 2017 09:27 PM

Japeth Aguilar and Barangay Ginebra forced a Game 4 after winning by 24 against TNT on Thursday. Courtesy of the PBA Media Bureau

Justin Brownlee scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Barangay Ginebra couldn't be stopped on offense in a 125-101 rout of TNT in the semifinals of the PBA Commissioner's Cup at Araneta Coliseum on Thursday.

Ginebra's wire-to-wire win averted a sweep in their best-of-5 series.

TNT head coach Nash Racela entered Game 3 preaching the importance of finishing off Ginebra, known to play well when its back is against the wall.

That sense of urgency was missing the entire game for the KaTropa, who gave up 34 points in the 1st quarter and was down 21 in the 2nd, before surrendering 35 points in the 3rd. Ginebra's biggest lead was 32 points.

Sensing his team was out of it, Racela yanked his stars even before the 3rd quarter ended and sat them the rest of the game.

Scottie Thompson added 17 points and Japeth Aguilar contributed 15 points and 3 blocks for Ginebra, which is trying to repeat a feat it accomplished in the 2010 Philippine Cup — come back from a 2-0 deficit and win a best-of-5 series.

If Ginebra can play as unselfishly in Game 4 as it did in Game 3, that's certainly possible. Seven Ginebra players recorded at least 3 assists, as the team totaled 34 assists compared to TNT's 20.

TNT's top players had lackluster numbers. Jayson Castro ended up with just 7 points, while Joshua Smith only had 4 points on 6 shots. Kelly Williams finished with just 2 points.

RR Garcia led TNT with 16 points. 

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