Ginebra, TNT eye 2-0 lead

Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - November 20, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Energized by their resounding triumphs in the series opener, both the Barangay Ginebra Kings and the TNT Tropang Giga train their sights on a commanding 2-0 advantage as they again take on their rivals in Game 2 of the best-of-five PBA Philippine Cup semifinals today at the AUF Sports Arena in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Living up to their lofty billing as the top seeds, the Kings flexed all their might leading to a masterful 96-79 demolition of the Meralco Bolts in their one-sided match last Wednesday night.

The Kings were so dominant that since closing the first half with a 48-36 cushion, they maintained double-digit leads the rest of the way. The outcome was already a foregone conclusion when they mounted an insurmountable 25-point bulge, 90-65, at the final 4:46 mark of the blowout contest.

 Bannered by Stanley Pringle with 19 points and seven rebounds, six players cashed in double figures underscoring Ginebra’s balanced attack.

Scottie Thompson piled up 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while Arvin Tolentino, Aljon Mariano, LA Tenorio and Prince Caperal put up 45 combined points for the Kings.

The wards of coach Tim Cone hope to sustain their hot charge as they mix it up anew with the Bolts in the  3:45 p.m. curtain raiser.

While the Kings easily dismantled the Bolts, the Tropang Giga had to turn to the endgame heroics of veteran All-Star guard Jayson Castro before escaping with a close 95-92 decision over the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters.

Castro, who finished 20 points on top of six rebounds and as many assists, scored seven of TNT’s last eight points to push the Tropang Giga within two games away from the PBA bubble finals.

The Tropang Giga could move closer to their goal if they pull off a repeat performance over the Fuel Masters in their 6:30 p.m. encounter that is expected to go down-the-wire again.

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