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PBA 2023 – Scottie’s 3s assist Ginebra in reaching quarters and putting RHJ-less TNT to sleep

Dec 29, 2023

MANILA, Philippines – Early this week at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, Ginebra handed TNT a sad Christmas, 86-78, to secure a spot in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals. Scottie Thompson delivered the greatest blow of the game.

The 2021 league MVP scored 12 points in all, with two crucial three-pointers made in the closing 1:34 of play to help the defending champs complete the comeback after falling behind by as much as 13 points.

His final three-pointer with 31.2 seconds remaining proved to be extremely painful for the Tropang Giga, as it sealed the Kings’ second consecutive victory and moved them up to 6-3 in the rankings. His first trifecta finished a 10-2 run that gave them an 82-76 advantage.

Head coach Tim Cone said, “Aside from Scottie taking over in the last minutes and making a few big shots, it was a real grind for us. The game was basically a toss-up.” “Jolas deserves a lot of credit for that,”

“But that worked well for us. We have to grind out wins because, in essence, we are playing playoff basketball. The elimination round is almost over, and every game is crucial. All we’re aiming for is to make it to the Top Four,” he continued.

For Ginebra, Christian Standhardinger led the team in scoring with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. Tony Bishop made a double-double of his own, contributing 12 and 15 along with six dimes.

Japeth Aguilar and Maverick Ahanmisi each scored eleven points, while five Kings scored in double digits in a comeback that required all of their might to overcome a worn-out but tenacious Tropa team.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jayson Castro were absent from TNT’s Christmas show, and the team felt their absence, particularly in the final moments when they let a 74-72 lead slip away halfway through the fourth quarter.

With a game-high 27 points, including 19 in the middle quarters, Calvin Oftana snatched the scoring reins and effectively disarmed a team in need of steadiness. Thompson checked him in the last frame.

Cone stated that Thompson’s protection of Oftana—whom he got to know well during their time at Gilas Pilipinas—was something “he actually asked for.” As he was getting unruly, he said, “Let me have him, let me have Calvin,” during a timeout.

Therefore, we moved him to Calvin. Cone grinned proudly and continued, “Obviously, Scottie made a great coaching decision by doing that.”

The Tropang Giga, who slipped to 4-5 in the rankings after losing their second straight game, was led by veteran big man Jewel Ponferrada, who finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Glenn Khobuntin also contributed 13 points.

Scores at the end of the match:

Ginebra with 86 points for the win

Individual scores: Standhardinger 22, Bishop 15, Thompson 12, J. Aguilar 11, Ahanmisi 11, Malonzo 7, Pringle 6, Tenorio 2, David 0, Onwubere 0.

TNT with 78 points

Individual scores: Oftana 27, Ponferrada 14, Khobuntin 13, K.Williams 7, Aurin 6, Montalbo 5, Galinato 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Cruz 0, Tolomia 0, Reyes 0.

Scores per quarter:

13-21, 37-37, 59-65, 86-78.

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