Brgy. Ginebra escaped Christmas blushes and advanced its cause in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup with an 86-78 decision over a hard-fighting import-less TNT team at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Scottie Thompson, in his second game in his return from injury, bombed away crucial three-pointers at the finish and the Kings overcame the Tropang Giga who put up a tough, tough challenge even in the absence of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and ace guard Jayson Castro.
Back-to-back treys by Thompson from a 79-76 count eventually put the game away en route to a crucial Yuletide triumph for the Kings.
The titleholders stayed in equal footing with the San Miguel Beermen at 6-3, now just half-game behind the third-running Meralco Bolts (6-2) and a game adrift No. 2 Phoenix (7-2).
With win No. 6, coach Tim Cone and his troops have secured a spot in the post-elims play.
But they are expected to press forward in pursuit of a Top 4 finish and a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarters as they play their last two games in the elims versus NorthPort on Jan. 7 and NLEX on Jan. 13.
The Gin Kings boosted their aspiration with back-to-back triumphs scored on the return of Thompson.