Who says Barangay Ginebra can’t win a title without import Justin Brownlee?
The Gin Kings proved all their doubters wrong with an 82-78 victory over the TNT Tropang Giga Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena & Cultural Center Powered by Smart 5G.
Ginebra thus beat TNT 4-1 in the championship playoff to win the 2020 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup Finals.
It was the fifth PBA crown won by Ginebra since head coach Tim Cone took over the coaching chores in 2015 but the first without Brownlee leading the charge.
Cone said the team had to overcome all sorts of adversities to rule the PBA Philippine Cup. Greg Slaughter did not join them at all. Then Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio (who had his appendix taken out) came on board late.
“We really didn’t have any expectations. But credit to the guys. They just really worked hard for this championship,” said Cone.
Ginebra also had to overhaul a TNT lead late in the game.
Simon Enciso drilled a three-pointer, forced Stanley Pringle to commit a turnover, then drilled another three-pointer to push TNT to a 5-point, 73-68 advantage with 5:01 to go in the game.
Aguilar scored on a charity split then Pringle drilled back-to-back three-pointers as Ginebra grabbed the lead for good, 76-73, with 3:18 to go in the game.
Tenorio then zipped an alley-oop pass to Aguilar who slammed the ball into the hoop and extend the Ginebra lead to 5 points, 78-73, with just 1:57 left to play.
Tenorio then came up with another assist as he found an open Joe Devance underneath. Devance scored to seal the outcome of the match, 80-73, with just 56 seconds left to play.
It was the first PBA Philippine Cup crown for Ginebra since 2007. It was also the first Philippine Cup championship for the veteran Tenorio.
TNT’s Roger Pogoy started the third period breathing fire. He posted up against Scottie Thompson then drained a turnaround jumper to score his 11th point of the quarter and push TNT to a 50-46 advantage with 4:53 to go in the third.
Poy Erram showed his range draining back-to-back three-pointers to push TNT to a 56-52 advantage with 52 seconds to go in the third. But Tenorio countered with his own triple to cut the TNT lead to just a point, 56-55, after three quarters.
Tenorio, Jeff Chan and Prince Caperal each drilled a three-pointer to cap a 9-2 Ginebra finishing run which tied the count at 19-all after the first period.
TNT countered with a strong start in the second. Pogoy drained an open jumper followed by successive layups by Enciso and Troy Rosario as TNT jumped out to a six-point, 25-19, advantage to start the quarter.
Almond Vosotros almost arranged another quarter ending with a tie. He drained a jumper which cut the Ginebra advantage to 2 points, 36-38. He missed another attempt before the end of the quarter as Ginebra protected a two-point, 38-36 advantage at halftime.
Aguilar was unstoppable in the first half scoring 18 of Ginebra’s 38 points.
Pringle started the fourth with a pair of jumpers – the second a triple – to ignite Ginebra’s 9-2 start in the payoff fourth as the Gin Kings booked a six-point, 64-58 lead with 10 minutes to play.
But TNT had one last gasp which Ginebra had to overcome to prevail in the end.
Barangay Ginebra 82 – Japeth Aguilar 32, Stanley Pringle 13, LA Tenorio 10, Jared Dillinger 8, Scottie Thompson 6, Aljon Mariano 5, Prince Caperal 3, Jeff Chan 3, Joe Devance 2, Arvin Tolentino 0.
TNT Tropang Giga 78 – Roger Pogoy 23, Poy Erram 18, Simon Enciso 17, Troy Rosario 12, Samboy De Leon 6, Almond Vosotros 2, Jay Washington 0, Ryan Reyes 0, Kib Montalbo 0, Harvey Carey 0.
Quarter Scores: 19-19, 38-36, 55-56, 82-78.