Tropa, Kings set explosive bubble finals
TNT Tropang Giga’s Bobby Ray Parks Jr. drives to the basket against Phoenix’ Jansen Rios.
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Tropa, Kings set explosive bubble finals

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - November 28, 2020 - 12:00am


SMART CLARK GIGA CITY , Philippines — TNT Tropang Giga and Barangay Ginebra will revive their dormant championship rivalry in the battle for top honors in the PBA bubble.

Nine years after their last high stakes faceoff, TNT and Ginebra set up an explosive showdown for the coveted Philippine Cup trophy after disposing of their pesky semifinal opponents in last night’s double sudden death at the AUF Sports Arena Powered by Smart 5G.

The Tropang Giga nipped Phoenix Super LPG, 91-81, to take the first finals seat then the Gin Kings followed suit with a nail-biting 83-80 squeaker over the Meralco Bolts behind the game-winning trey of Scottie Thompson.

The two heavyweights will kick off their best-of-seven duel for the vacant All-Filipino title tomorrow.

This will be their first titular encounter since the 2011 Commissioner’s Cup, which TNT won, 4-2. They previously crossed paths in the 2004-05 season’s Philippine Cup, where Ginebra prevailed in six.

Thompson provided the spark as the Gin Kings wiped out a 69-73 deficit and rallied to the thrilling win in the stretch.

The fiery guard out of Perpetual Help knocked down 10 points in the endgame, topped off by a huge tip-in and a booming corner trey in the last 0.6 second that sealed the deal.

Thompson scattered 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, with Stanley Pringle topscoring with 22.

Earlier, TNT ended a seven-year finals drought after completing its fightback from a 1-2 deficit with back-to-back victories over Phoenix.

The Tropang Giga seized an early 10-point lead and sustained it all the way home to knock the fading Fuel Masters out and make the all-Pinoy Last Dance again after their triumph in the 2012-13 season.

Coach Bong Ravena turned to an array of heroes from regulars like Ray Parks Jr., and Jayson Castro to shock troopers like Jay Washington and Simon Enciso to clinch it via a come-from-behind 3-2 verdict in the short series.

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