Firing five of a record 18 triples at the halfway mark of the fourth quarter gave the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings enough room to repulse the TNT Tropang Giga, 117-103, Friday night in Game 3 of the 2022-2023 Philippine Basketball Association best-of-seven finals at the Araneta Coliseum.
Justin Brownlee and Jamie Malonzo knocked in two apiece during that crucial stretch, sparking a crucial 18-7 blast which allowed the Gin Kings to shatter an 88-all tie, and move away, 107-95, when it was over at the 4:34 mark.
The Gin Kings had little trouble bouncing back from an 82-95 setback in Game 2 last Wednesday as they secured a 2-1 edge in the series.
“We hit it right on the nose. We shot the ball pretty well,” said Gin Kings’ coach Tim Cone after their 18 treys became an all-time franchise record in any game.
The previous high was 16, which the Gin Kings recorded seven times before, most recently against the NLEX Road Warriors during the quarterfinals.
Brownlee, who scored his lowest output in the conference in Game 2, bounced back with a team-high 29 points, to go with eight rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block this time around.
The 6’6” Brownlee shattered the game’s sixth deadlock, 88-all, with his second of three treys in the game at the 6:56 mark, putting Ginebra ahead by three, 91-88.
Brownlee’s final triple off Scottie Thompson’s assist found its target in the remaining 5:08, handing Ginebra a 105-94 advantage.
Malonzo shot 27 points and unloaded two treys during the Ginebra fiery run. He added three rebounds and three assists to his efforts.
The Gin Kings now have a chance to move to within a victory away of claiming the crown if they win for a second consecutive time in Game 4 this Sunday.
Stanley Pringle struck with 27 points for the Gin Kings, including his lone triple in the game in the final period, during their key run.
Cone credited Pringle for his good showing, especially when he made 11 points in the first period, as he put the Gin Kings in front, 29-19.
The Tropang Giga, led by Rhondae Hollis-Jefferson with 32 points, fought the Gin Kings to six deadlocks, including the final tie with his dunk.