Barangay Ginebra San Miguel feasted on TNT KaTropa resulting in a 125-101 blowout win in Game 3 to stay alive in the best-of-five semifinals series of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Commissioner’s Cup on Thursday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings took advantage the absence of TNT import Josh Smith in the entire second half. Despite the win, the Gin Kings were still down by one game in the series, 1-2.
After taking a 61-47 lead at the halftime break, the Gin Kings went on to import Justin Brownlee in the third period to stretch their lead to 96-74 at the start of the payoff period. Ginebra established a 125-93 lead – its biggest advantage in the game – after Paolo Taha’s jumper with 1:37 left.
They were never threatened in the second half, and the KaTropa could do nothing but to pull out their starters and prepare for Game 4 on Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
“It helps a lot when you make shots,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “When we can make shots, our offense becomes different. Their import (Smith) did not get any minutes, but the bottom line is we haven’t done anything yet.”
“We are basically in the same boat with Star,” added Cone, referring to the other semifinals series between San Miguel Beer and Star. Our goal is to get into Game 5.”
Ginebra shot 47-of-87 (54%) overall from the field against TNT’s 41-of-91 (45%). The Gin Kings also established 34 assists against the KaTropa’s 20.
Brownlee led Ginebra with 31 points, 14 in the third period, and 11 rebounds, while Earl Scottie Thompson had 17 points.
Asked about the status of Smith, TNT coach Nash Racela refused to say anything, saying he has ‘no idea for the meantime.’ There were reports that the 6’10 Smith was bothered by his right foot and didn’t comeback after he was pulled out in the middle of second quarter.
The TNT camp also didn’t release any statement yet about Smith, although there was other report that his shoes was broken during the game.
He left the venue early in the fourth quarter with TNT being down by a huge margin.
RR Garcia led the KaTropa with 16 points.
GINEBRA 125 – Brownlee 31, Thompson 17, Aguilar 15, Mercado 12, Devance 10, Ellis 9, Cruz 9, Tenorio 8, Ferrer 5, Mariano 5, Taha 2, Jamito 2, Helterbrand 0, Caguioa 0.
TNT 101 – Garcia 16, Tautuaa 15, Carey 11, Reyes 9, Rosario 8, Castro 7, Rosales 7, Hernandez 6, Nuyles 6, Smith 4, Pogoy 4, Semerad 3, De Ocampo 3, Golla 0, Tamsi 0.
Quarter Scores: 34-28, 61-47, 96-74, 125-101.