Mendoza: Ginebra gains ground again

·2 min read

It is always hard to defeat a team with championship experience. That applies almost totally to Barangay Ginebra, which survived a big scare on Easter Sunday to win back-to-back.

Before a record 18,000-plus crowd dominated by Ginebra diehards, the Gin Kings courageously climbed out from an impending peril when their 14-point margin was chopped down to a measly point.

As a result of Meralco’s magnificent comeback backstopped by its resurgent import, Tony Bishop, dead shot Chris Newsome and the vastly improved Aaron Black, Smart Araneta Coliseum fell into a funereal silence.

But, with the suddenness of a thunderstorm amid a summer heat, the crowd came alive when Ginebra struck back in a manner it does so well when faced with adversity.

Ginebra is not a three-time PBA Governors’ Cup champ for nothing.

Ginebra is not a three-time Govs’ champ at the expense of Meralco for nothing.

And, yes, Ginebra reinforcement Justin Brownlee is not the best import of the Govs’ conference for nothing.

Then there was Gin King Scottie Thompson, who is not the best player of the Govs’ conference for nothing.

Brownlee kept coming up with bail-out shots each time Meralco threatened.

And Thompson was virtually unstoppable in showing the way to the road of ascension and not to perdition, not only shooting threes when the Kings needed them most, and rebounding consistently even when the boards weren’t exactly his domain.

Versatile likewise that he has always been, Thompson also dished off assists in torrents anew (11), one of which helped key a Ginebra breakaway for good when Meralco menacingly inched to within 97-98.

The second of Christian Standhardinger’s killer two jumpers in a row was from Thompson’s dexterous feed.

And, only seconds later, Thompson (19 points, nine rebounds) banged home a triple in capping a 7-0 fightback for Ginebra’s 105-97 lead, essentially breaking the Bolt’s spirits en route to the Gin Kings’ 115-110 victory and a commanding 3-2 lead in their race-to-four affair for the Govs’ Cup.

“Our guys made big shots, made big plays,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.

They need those again on Wednesday if the Gin Kings wish to win their fourth crown in five Govs’ Cup appearances.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting