PBA: Ginebra powers past injury-riddled TNT for 3-1 lead

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2020 08:28 PM | Updated as of Dec 06 2020 09:13 PM

PBA: Ginebra powers past injury-riddled TNT for 3-1 lead 1
Stanley Pringle of Barangay Ginebra goes up for a shot against the TNT Tropang Giga in Game 4 of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup Finals. PBA Media Bureau.

MANILA (UPDATED) - Barangay Ginebra is one win away from claiming the All-Filipino Cup crown, thanks to a hard-earned 98-88 triumph over TNT Tropang Giga in Game 4 of the Finals, Sunday at the AUF Gym in Angeles City, Pampanga.

The Gin Kings led by double-digits for most of the second half as they pounced on the Tropang Giga's injury woes. TNT was already playing without its leading scorer in Ray Parks (left calf strain), and then lost Jayson Castro early in the third quarter after he aggravated a nagging knee issue. 

Even without their key players, TNT still made a run and came within three points late thanks to the hot shooting of Roger Pogoy. But LA Tenorio was there to douse the TNT rally, as the veteran point guard drilled big shots in the end game to keep the Tropang Giga at bay.

"I felt we played our best game of the whole bubble tonight," Ginebra coach Tim Cone said after the game. "It was just barely enough to beat Talk 'N Text. That just goes to show how good they are, and how well-coached they are."

"(But) this is our best game of the series by far, and our best game in the conference. We hit big shots all night, we made defensive plays…. I hope we can carry it over for Wednesday," he added.

Tenorio scored nine of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, while adding six assists and three steals. Japeth Aguilar had 22 points and nine rebounds, while Stanley Pringle had 16 points. Scottie Thompson was one assist shy of a triple-double with 11 points, 11 boards, and nine dimes. 

The Gin Kings led by as much as 18 points, 82-64, early in the fourth frame and appeared headed for a comfortable win as the Tropang Giga struggled to gain a rhythm on offense. But Pogoy began to wax hot, and reserve guard Almond Vosotros made some contributions to help TNT whittle into the deficit.

Back to back three-pointers by Pogoy made it a three-point game, 88-85, with 2:50 to play, but Tenorio came back with a triple of his own to restore a six-point lead, 91-85.

Pogoy hit another three -- his fourth of the contest -- to again trim the Ginebra lead to three-points, 91-88, with just over two minutes to go. Once again, however, Tenorio had an answer: he drilled another triple to restore their six-point spread, prompting TNT to sue for time with a minute and 43 seconds left on the clock.

"That was cold-blooded," Cone said of Tenorio's shots. "Those two shots LA took were really cold-blooded."

TNT would fade from there: Pogoy missed a triple in their next possession, and Thompson took control of the rebound and went all the way for an uncontested layup. Tenorio then stretched the lead to ten points with a baseline jumper with 55 seconds to go.

Pogoy scored 16 of his game-high 34 points in the fourth quarter, while Poy Erram finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Tropang Giga. Troy Rosario finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. 

Before he exited the game, Castro accounted for two points on one-of-six shooting, along with two rebounds and two assists. 

Ginebra can wrap up the series on Game 5, scheduled for Wednesday still at the same Angeles City venue.

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