By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Scottie Thompson and Justin Brownlee refused to lose two games in a row and played a majestic fourth quarter to steer the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to a classic come-from-behind victory over the Magnolia Hotshots Chicken Timplados, 103-97, in the ongoing 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Trailing by as much as 15 points heading into the final 12 minutes of the game, the duo of Thompson and Brownlee made consecutive, momentum-clinching plays that quickly brought them back into the game.
Thompson immediately converted a strong layup finish over the tough interior defense of Ian Sangalang and Calvin Abueva to kick off the fourth quarter.
After the play, the reigning PBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) dished out three straight assists that trimmed Magnolia’s lead to just five points, including a tap offensive board dime to Brownlee that electrified the crowd.
Thompson wasn’t done doing damage and buried a coast-to-coast layup after grabbing the defensive rebound that got Ginebra to within three points, 82-85.
With the game on the line, Ginebra’s superstar resident import delivered when his team needed him the most and sank the clutch baskets to stun the Chicken Timplados.
Knotted at 97-all with 1:23 remaining in the game, Brownlee gave Ginebra the lead after a smooth step-back perimeter jumper move against the tight defense of Magnolia’s main defender Rome dela Rosa.
Brownlee also made the game-sealing defensive stop after blocking Nick Rakocevic’s potential game-tying layup in the last minute of the ball game.
Magnolia had the chance to inch closer after stealing the ball from Brownlee in the next possession, but Mark Barroca blew the wide-open floater that resulted in a foul.
Brownlee then iced the game with four straight made shots from the charity stripe to finish the game with 26 big points, 12 assists, and eight rebounds.
Meanwhile, Thompson stuffed the stat sheets and contributed 14 points, six assists, four rebounds, and a steal.
It was a scorching hot start for the Chicken Timplados as main gunner Paul Lee went unconscious in the first half and torched Ginebra with his insane three-point party.
Despite Lee sitting early in the second quarter because of foul trouble, substitute guard Jerrick Ahanmisi delivered for Magnolia and sank a barrage of treys that helped them close the first half with a double-digit lead.
However, Magnolia lost the second-half battle and got outscored by the Gin Kings 62-44 including a 30-14 scoring in the final frame.
Newly acquired athletic small forward Jamie Malonzo was also solid for the Gin Kings and chipped in 18 points on 8/9 shooting from the field and grabbed 14 rebounds.