Triple-double Thompson powers Ginebra to Game 1 win over TNT

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SCOTTIE THOMPSON served as the man of the hour for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Easter Sunday after leading the Gin Kings to a 102-90 Game 1 win over TNT Tropang Giga at the start of their best-of-seven finals series of Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup.

While import Justin Brownlee, Christian Standhardinger, Jamie Malonzo and Stanley Pringle were busy scoring, the reigning Season Most Valuable Player delivered a valuable triple-double of 10 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists to thrill the 11,850 crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We knew coming into this game that TNT was a strong team and our mindset was to get the first win especially that this is Game 1,” Thompson said.

“Throughout the game, we have to sustain our energy and be ready for the next game. This win is not an assurance that we’re going to win the whole series.”

The Gin Kings didn’t let the Tropang Giga to rebound from a slow start after taking a 29-20 cushion in the first quarter, where Brownlee dropped 17 of his 31 points in addition to his 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks to lead Ginebra.

High-flying Jamie Malonzo had 21 points — 17 in the second half — and eight rebounds — while Standhardinger added 16 points and 11 rebounds. Stanley Pringle contributed 11 points also for Ginebra.

Despite controlling the game all the way, Ginebra coach Tim Cone didn’t expect that lopsided win.

“I wasn’t 100 percent sure if we are going to play good tonight. But the guys came out all fired up, I thought, and set a good tone in the beginning of the game. I was kinda surprised to be honest. To be totally, we don’t know if we did a good job preparing for this game,” Cone said.

TNT couldn’t find an answer to Ginebra’s solid offensive plays despite having NBA veteran Rondae Hollis-Jefferson with 30 points and 20 rebounds while Mikey Williams added 23 points to lead the Tropang Giga.

Game 2 is set on Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. also at the Araneta Coliseum.

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