Ginebra survives TNT, one win away from the Finals

Ginebra 106 – TNT 103, Ginebra takes a 2-1 series lead

This series is now officially a battle. Game three took an emotional turn as the action spilled from the court onto the dugout. Both teams figured in a confrontation heading to the dugout during the half time break. When they got back onto the court for the second half, the action was more heated between both squads.

Scottie Thompson, Greg Slaughter and LA Tenorio teamed up in the first half to give Ginebra an 11-point lead heading into the half. The KaTropa used the halftime confrontation to play with more fire in the second half. Jayson Castro led TNT to a comeback in the third quarter. He was orchestrating his team’s offense to get open looks for everyone on the floor. The KaTropa got to as close as two points before and headed into the fourth quarter down by only five points.

In the final period, Glen Rice Jr. took over for the KaTropa. He unloaded 15 of his 44 points in the final period. He was fouled taking a three-pointer midway in the quarter allowing TNT to pull ahead of Ginebra by two. Joe Devance hit a floater in the lane to tie the game in the next possession. Rice Jr. attacked the Ginebra defense head on in the next possession. He got into the lane, missed a layup but was able to put back his own miss to give TNT the lead back. Justin Brownlee hit a step back three-pointer with the shot clock winding down to give Ginebra a one-point lead heading into the final two minutes.

Offensive rebounding saved Ginebra in the end game. Thompson put in a Devance miss to give Ginebra a three-point lead. In the next offensive possession, Tenorio missed a layup but Devance got the board and scored a put back to increase the lead to five points. Rice Jr. cut the lead down to three with two freebies but Devance once again got a touch on a miss to bring the lead back up to five points.

Devance and Thompson both had chances to ice the game. But Devance missed a wide open fast break layup and Thompson missed two free throws leaving the door ajar for TNT to tie the game. Fortunately for Ginebra, Rice Jr. missed a three-pointer at the buzzer and they escaped with the win.

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