Ginebra clinch Finals berth with Thompson 3 at the buzzer

By: Bong Paredes /@hoopslocale


A game that started out slowly as both teams struggled to find any groove turned out to be a thriller that needed a buzzer beater to decide who will face TNT in the 2020 Philippine Cup Finals.

Brgy. Ginebra were the heavy favorites to win this series but Meralco’s improved play and impressive individual performances from the likes of franchise player Chris Newsome, to grizzled veteran Reynel Hugnatan pushed the Gin Kings to the limit.

Behind Pringle and Thompson, Ginebra ended the first canto with a 17-14 lead and with the pace that the game was in, it seemed like the Gin Kings were on their way to an easy win. Veteran Reynel Hugnatan (12 points) scored a couple of baskets in succession to keep the game close. Ginebra still had the lead entering the 3rd quarter by a narrow 33-31 margin.

Chris Newsome (15 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists) started the quarter like a house on fire (after being content as a facilitator in the early goings) to grab the lead from Ginebra and gain momentum entering the last quarter. He was not alone in picking up the pace and putting pressure on Ginebra on both ends as he had Allein Maliksi (12 points and 4 rebounds) and Bong Quinto (14 points) hitting timely baskets and defensive stops in the case of Quinto on Stanley Pringle.

Chris Newsome
Good things happen for Meralco every time Newsome is agressive. Photo by:

Meralco entered the fourth with a 59-55 lead, and it became a nip and tuck affair from that point. Both teams were jostling for control with the top guns from both teams making one big play after another. Pringle and LA Tenorio made baskets to grab the lead 74-73 with 2:12 left in the game. Aguilar made defensive stop that resulted in a Thompson layup and gave Ginebra more breathing room with a 76-73 lead.

Hugnatan had some huge moments but it was not enough for the equally motivated Brgy. Ginebra. Photo by:

The Bolts will not give up though, as Maliksi and Newsome made tough shots to keep it close. When Tenorio made 2 free throws with 17 seconds left to lead by three with 17 seconds left, Hugnatan made a three when they returned from a timeout. With the game tied at 80 with 14 seconds left, Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson rose to the occasion and hit a three pointer at the buzzer to end Meralco’s season to set the table for an exciting Finals showdown with fellow pre-season favorite, TNT Tropang Giga who just eliminated the Phoenix Fuel Masters earlier today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s