Brangay Ginebra goes for the jugular when they battle the undermanned TNT Tropang Giga 6 p.m., tonight, Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena & Cultural Center Powered by Smart 5G.
The Gin Kings, leading 3-1 in their best-of-seven playoffs, grab the championship of the 2020 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup with a victory.
Ginebra will try to follow up its 98-88 Game 4 victory over TNT last Sunday when LA Tenorio outdueled Roger Pogoy in a battle of sharp shooters.
Pogoy drilled back-to-back triples to reduce a 17-point Ginebra lead to just 3 points, 88-85, with 2:50 left to play. Tenorio countered with his own three-pointer to extend the lead back to 6 points, 91-85.
Pogoy drilled another triple to cut the lead back down to 3 points, 91-88. But Tenorio again answered with his own triple to push Ginebra ahead by 6 points, 94-88.
Pogoy finally missed at the TNT offensive end and the Tropang Giga could not score after that. Scottie Thompson and Tenorio finalized the count, 98-88, after each scored a field goal.
Other than Tenorio and Thompson, Ginebra will also rely on high scoring guard Stanley Pringle. Also expected to contribute is the versatile Thompson – who narrowly missed submitting a triple-double during Ginebra’s Game 4 victory – as well as athletic big man Japeth Aguilar.
Playing quality minutes are grizzled veterans Jared Dillinger and Joe Devance.
If those veterans play the most minutes, then Ginebra should be a cinch to win the crown tonight. TNT gets a chance if Ginebra coach Tim Cone elects to give major minutes to his younger players in Aljon Mariano, Arvin Tolentino and Prince Caperal.
TNT will be the heavy underdogs. Team mainstays Ray Parks and Jayson Castro are listed as day-to-day and may sit out the possible close out game today.
Parks has a hurting leg while Castro has balky knees. Parks, the leading scorer for TNT, has not seen any action since Game 2. Castro limped out of Game 4.
Expected to pick up the slack for TNT are Pogoy, Troy Rosario and Simon Enciso.
The Tropang Giga will also need solid contributions from veterans Ryan Reyes and Jay Washington. The two cannot be limited to just providing lockdown defense on Aguilar and Pringle. They will also have to score points if the Tropang Giga hopes to extend the series to a Game 6 and possibly a Game 7.