Scottie Thompson buried a 3-pointer with a fraction of a second left in the game to tow Barangay Ginebra past Meralco 83-80 on Friday and into the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup finals.
Thompson finished with 20 points, and Stanley Pringle led Ginebra with 23 at AUF Sports Arena in Angeles City, Pampanga, as coach Tim Cone and co. head to their first All-Filipino title series since 2016.
Ginebra thus set up a finals with TNT Tropang Giga, who dispatched Meralco in the other semifinal also in 5 games.
"It was amazing. Scottie deserves the recognition because there's nobody who works harder than him," Cone said following their thrilling win.
Both teams engaged in a back and forth, especially near the end of game tied at 80-all after Reynel Hugnatan's 3-pointer.
In the following possession, Prince Caperal saw an open man in Thompson who fired the game winner, leaving Meralco with not enough time to cross the half court.
"'Yung last tira ko wala nang oras kaya tinira ko na lang. Good thing pinasa ni Prince kasi open ako," said Thompson, who also collared 12 rebounds to go with his 7 assists and a steal.
The loss was particularly painful for the Bolts, who were seeking to avenge their 2019 Governors Cup defeat to the Kings.
"I really feel for Norman because it was a tremendously coached series," Cone said.
"Meralco is a great team and that of course is led by their leader, coach Norman. We're not really best friends but were close, so it really pains me."
Cone said the key to this particular win was the way Ginebra moved the ball. Everyone wanted to find the open man and in the final play, it was Thompson.
"The play was designed for Stanely, Stanley gave it up to Prince, Prince gave it to Scottie and Scottie hit the shot. I'd like to thank them for the unselfishness," Cone said.
LA Tenorio scored 14 for Ginebra, which also got 12 from Japeth Aguilar.
Chris Newsome led Meralco with 15 points. The Bolts also got 14 each from Cliff Hodge and Bong Quinto.
Hugnatan finished with 12, while Allein Maliksi who was having a good scoring night before he got fouled out also had 12.