Brgy. Ginebra weathered a post-New Year’s Day salvo from Bay Area to rally to an 89-82 go-ahead victory in Game 3 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals series Wednesday night at the MOA Arena.
The Gin Kings relied on their good old never-say-die spirit and the roaring rallying chants of 15,004 to reverse the tide after shooting blanks the whole game and falling behind by as many as 14 points.
Justin Brownlee exploded for 19 in the final push to spearhead a huge 33-19 exchange that cleared the way for the crowd darlings’ comeback win and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
“Nothing’s working for us the whole game but I said to them we just gotta keep on working, look for something positive to spark us,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone after completing the steal and the big bounceback from their 99-82 loss in Game 2 last Dec. 28.
“Suddenly, Justin upped his motor and Scottie (Thompson) went crazy and got a couple of unbelievable rebounds and we got on a roll. The crowd kept feeding us, feeding us. We were really hungry as we weren’t getting much early and we fed on that feel from the crowd,” he added.
Brownlee did the heavy lifting as Ginebra patiently chipped away Bay Area’s game-long lead, which still stood at seven, 79-72, with 4:11 left.
The Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player prospect’s basket sparked a 17-3 closing barrage, which also saw LA Tenorio and Jamie Malonzo hitting a pair of big-time treys and Thompson hauling down two crucial offensive rebounds plus the go-ahead putback.