MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 2) Barangay Ginebra made the big plays down the stretch to hold on for a thrilling 110-107 overtime triumph over San Miguel Beer in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Down by as much as 15 points in the opening quarter, the Gin Kings battled back in the second, went on to lead by nine markers in the third, then battled toe-to-toe with the Beermen in a nerve-wracking fourth period. Ultimately, 48 minutes proved not enough to settle the matter between the sister teams.
"Just two heavyweights, going at each other, and today it needed an extra round," noted Ginebra coach Tim Cone after the game.
Scottie Thompson came up huge in the extra period, knocking down a booming triple to open overtime, then converting a lay-up off a perfect dime from LA Tenorio that gave them a 109-104 lead with 1:51 left in the contest.
A bucket by Christian Standhardinger and a split at the line by Chris Ross kept SMB in the hunt, 109-107, with 1:16 to go. But San Miguel squandered several opportunities: a fastbreak opportunity evaporated when Alex Cabagnot fumbled a pass from Ross, leading to a turnover. They got a stop when June Mar Fajardo blocked Joe Devance, and when Justin Brownlee threw the ball away with 31.9 seconds left.
But again they could not capitalize, as Cabagnot pulled up for a jumper that went short. San Miguel got another chance when Standhardinger intercepted the inbound pass with 21 seconds left, but the Beermen burned 10 seconds away off the clock before calling a timeout. In their final play, Ross missed the mark on a potential game-winning triple.
"It could have gone either way," said Cone. "They're a great team."
"I told the guys, 'Hey, this is a fun game.' It's great to be a part of it, and it was. It was a great game. For us, it was playoff intensity," he added.
Brownlee was superb as usual, putting up 39 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. Tenorio added 16 points, while Thompson had a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds.
SMB import Charles Rhodes scored 22 of his 34 points in the first half, and fouled out with 2:45 left in overtime. Cabagnot had 21 points, while Ross had a triple-double of 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. Fajardo contributed 13 points and 19 rebounds in a losing effort.
San Miguel led 26-11 in the first quarter, but Ginebra quickly erased the deficit in the second frame. The Gin Kings appeared ready to break the game open in the third quarter, leading 67-58, but SMB responded with an 11-2 run to knot the count at 69, and it was a back-and-forth game from there.
Ginebra took a 99-95 advantage off a Brownlee triple with 2:31 to go, only for Cabagnot to respond with a jumper that made it a two-point game. Cabagnot had a chance to tie the game in transition, but Brownlee came up with a huge block to preserve their lead. Unfortunately, the celebrated import bricked a triple in Ginebra's next possession, allowing SMB to get another chance. This time, Rhodes made sure to make the most out of it as he muscled his way inside the paint for a bucket, and was fouled as well by Devance.
Rhodes failed to make the bonus free throw, giving Ginebra a chance to win the game in regulation. Brownlee could not sink a jumper over Rhodes, but made up for his miss by bothering the SMB import on his own game-winning attempt on the other end.
"There was a lot of big plays tonight, big moments," said Cone.
The Gin Kings proved to have more in the tank in overtime, especially after Rhodes fouled out after getting called for a moving screen against Tenorio.
Ginebra shot 45.3% from the field to SMB's 41.3%, but the Beermen were left to rue their 11-of-22 clip from the free throw line.
With the win, the Gin Kings improved to 3-3 in the conference, while sending San Miguel to 1-3.
Ginebra 110 - Brownlee 39, Tenorio 16, Slaughter 13, Thompson 13, Mercado 12, Aguilar 9, Ferrer 5, Devance 3.
San Miguel 107 - Rhodes 34, Cabagnot 21, Lassiter 15, Fajardo 13, Ross 11, Standhardinger 10, Pessumal 3, Rosser 0, Santos 0.
Quarterscores: 15-26, 48-50, 80-77, 99-99, 110-107
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