By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Scottie Thompson showed why he is the reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the league after burying the go-ahead three-pointer that steered the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to a 97-96 win over the San Miguel Beermen in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on November 6, 2022.
Dow by a deuce with 9.2 seconds left in the game, Thompson went to his spot in the left corner after teammate Jamie Malonzo won the jump ball against CJ Perez.
After Justin Brownlee caught the leather, he immediately located Thompson and swung an on-point bullet pass that created the play for the game-winning triple.
It was another classic never-say-die game for Ginebra nation after trailing by as much as 19 points at the end of the third quarter.
The well-oiled San Miguel offensive attack overwhelmed coach Tim Cone and his wards when they continued to pour in the attack in the last canto and maintained their double-digit lead.
However, Ginebra’s adjustments defensively allowed them to slowly pick San Miguel apart. The presence of Nards Pinto, who also became the ex-factor during their comeback win against Magnolia, also sparked their rally and cashed in a layup to cut their deficit to 10 points with 3:44 remaining.
As San Miguel found themselves in a scoring drought, the Ginebra squad capitalized and stepped on the gas pedal led by Brownlee, Thomspon, and Pinto.
Brownlee’s triple at the top of the key cut San Miguel’s lead to just eight points, 92-84, and was followed by another Pinto drive that officially kept them within striking distance.
SMB’s import Devon Scott restored order for his team after halting their offensive struggles but Ginebra came right back with timely baskets.
Malonzo equalized the game at 94-all after a strong twirling drive to the basket but Scott answered in a jiffy after a fast break play was generated by Simon Enciso.
Thompson then iced the game on the other end to give Ginebra a one-point lead. San Miguel had one last chance to win or tie the affair but their last possession went to waste after a turnover off the inbounds.
The reigning PBA MVP led Ginebra with another all-around performance of 14 points, six rebounds, six assists, five steals, and a block.
Brownlee on the other hand maintained his waxing hot offense and dropped 33 points, 11 rebounds, and nine dimes.
San Miguel is still without June Mar Fajardo who is nursing a throat injury and got 26 points and 21 rebounds from Scott while Perez fired 19 points.