The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings got a huge buzzer-beater from Joe Devance to force overtime before taking care of business in the extra period as they outlasted the defending champion San Miguel Beermen, 124-118, in overtime of Game 2 of the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Sunday at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City, Quezon.
Ginebra lost a 26-point first half lead but managed to drag the game into overtime, where they made the clutch plays necessary to pull off the win and tie the series, 1-apiece.
Japeth Aguilar scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Kevin Ferrer added 21 points – including 18 in a sizzling-hot shooting performance in the second quarter – to lead the Kings in the high-scoring .
Scottie Thompson also had a huge game, flirting with both a 20-20 game and a triple-double as he finished with 18 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists.
Devance, Ginebra’s hero in regulation, finished with 16 points and seven boards while LA Tenorio scored 15 markers. Sol Mercado also came up big with 11 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and the dagger that sealed the win in overtime.
In Game 1, San Miguel leapt out of the gate with a big 17-2 run as part of an impressive 33-9 start.
Here in Game 2, Ginebra flipped the script on the defending champs, jumping out to its own hot start to take a 28-20 lead after the first quarter thanks to an offensive barrage from its backcourt of Tenorio and Thompson, who combined for 15 points.
The Kings then got a huge explosion from their Gilas rookie, Ferrer, in the second quarter. The former UST star knocked down big shot after big shot – including three three-pointers – as he scored 18 points in just the second quarter alone.
Predictably, Ginebra’s lead ballooned in this stretch as the Kings led by as many as 26 points before heading into the halftime break with a comfortable 67-43 lead.
The game shifted significantly in the third quarter, though, as San Miguel buckled down to business.
They established their MVP, June Mar Fajardo, down low for a three-point play on their very first possession and exploited the double-teams Ginebra threw at the big man, creating looks for Chris Ross and Arwind Santos as SMB fired off a rousing 15-0 run that brought them back in it.
Marcio Lassiter then heat up quickly, scoring 16 points – including four three-pointers – in a six and a half minute stretch to nearly single-handedly wipe out Ginebra’s lead. His fourth triple brought the Beermen within just two points, 84-82.
Unfortunately for San Miguel, Lassiter could not keep his emotions in check and was booked for taunting after the three-pointer.
Even worse, it was the SMB gunner’s second technical of the game after being whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul in the second quarter. That meant an ejection for Lassiter just when he was at his hottest.
The damage was done, though, as San Miguel outscored Ginebra, 39-18, in the third quarter and went into the final period trailing by just three, 85-82.
Barangay Ginebra rallied their and their fans’ spirits in the fourth quarter, though, after a monster dunk from Chris Ellis and two huge plays from Aguilar, first swatting Fajardo and then posterizing the MVP with another highlight-reel slam.
SMB’s Ronald Tubid picked up the slack in the absence of Lassiter, hitting two triples before drawing an unsportsmanlike foul via the landing spot rule on a third straight attempt. He hit all three free throws to finally put the Beermen in front, 96-95, while Gabby Espinas laid it in on the extra possession to make it a three-point game, 98-95.
But Aguilar and Devance led the Kings to a 12-3 run, including getting the crucial sixth and final foul on Fajardo – who exited the game with just 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in over 26 minutes of play.
San Miguel found a lifeline, though, as Santos and Espinas hit crucial three-pointers to reclaim the lead, 109-108. Tubid trooped to the line for two free throws but only came away with a split, 110-108.
That set the stage for Devance’s big shot as he drove to the lane and missed but recovered the ball and put it right back up before time could expire.
Ginebra seemed to have the game in hand after opening the extra period on an 8-2 run that featured a huge three-point play from Thompson and a crucial putback from Devance.
But Tubid again came up huge for San Miguel, hitting consecutive treys – the second one right as the shotclock was about to expire – to tie the game at 118-all.
Aguilar, though, took care of two free throws and Thompson made a strong move to the hoop to make it 122-118 with 53 seconds remaining. After a miss by Yancy De Ocampo, Mercado capped it with a pullup jumper, 124-118.
Santos led San Miguel with 23 points and 15 rebounds while Lassiter, despite his early exit, finished with 21 points in under 27 minutes of play.
Ross had a double-double with 16 points and 11 assists while Tubid also finished with 16.