With a massive display of NSD spirit, Barangay Ginebra returned to familiar territory.
Unleashing a strong finishing kick capped by the Justin Brownlee-to-Christian Standhardinger winning play, the Gin Kings rallied past San Miguel Beer, 87-85, to complete a 3-0 semis sweep and advance to the PBA Governors’ Cup finals Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Standhardinger’s marginal bucket put the finishing touches to Ginebra’s fightback from a seven-point deficit in the last 3:04 and salvaged the clincher despite falling behind by as many as 18.
Riding on this dramatic result, Tim Cone’s charges qualified for the championship round for the fifth time in the last six editions of the season-ending meet.
Up next for the three-peat-seeking Gin Kings are either familiar rival Meralco or TNT, which are locked in a 1-1 standoff as of posting time.
After runaway wins of 121-112 and 121-103 in the first two games, the crowd darlings had to dig deeper before pulling through with the closeout.
“Certainly different from the first two games. Just real struggle,” Cone said after achieving the seemingly impossible – beat mighty SMB three straight in a five-game series.