STANLEY Pringle scored a lay-up over KJ McDaniels with 15.6 seconds left, helping Barangay Ginebra escape with a 96-93 win over TNT on Friday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Pringle’s marginal drive, 94-92, was followed by a crucial miss from the free-throw line by TnT import KJ McDaniels and a well-played save by LA Tenorio from a ball going out of bounds that enabled Ginebra to keep possession.
That led to two free throws by Justine Brownlee with 5.8 seconds left that enabled the Gin Kings to escape with their sixth win in nine games - good for a share of fourth place with sister team San Miguel.
New TNT recruit Bobby Ray Parks missed a long three to end the game, sending the KaTropa to their second consecutive defeat.
The win put the Gin Kings back in the reckoning for a place in the Top Four and a twice-to-beat advantage that goes with it.
Ginebra will be playing Columbian and NorthPort in its final elimination-round games while San Miguel still has to go through TnT in that race for the fourth twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.
“That was huge,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “Really a must, must win. I’m happy to get it even though we didn’t play well in the last two minutes. We didn’t execute the way we wanted to in the last two minutes. We were still able pull it out.”
Japeth Aguilar had 29 points and 10 rebounds while Brownlee added 24 points and 16 rebounds for the Gin Kings, who missed Greg Slaughter due to an injury.
The win came with a lot of anxious moments for the Kings.
Trailing by as many as 14 points in the game, TNT went on a 10-0 tear capped by a Roger Pogoy three-pointer with 31.5 seconds left that tied the game at 92.
Pringle had the last say, however, as he put the moves on McDaniels and scored on a difficult lay-up that barely escaped the TnT import's outstretched arms, putting Ginebra back in front.
Tenorio had 14 points and nine rebounds, while Pringle finished with 14 points.
McDaniels had 32 points and 12 rebounds, but his miss on his second free throw proved to be costly. Pogoy had 23 points while Parks had 17 points in his TNT debut.
The loss left idle NLEX in solo first place with a 7-1 record, while TNT is now tied with another MVP team, Meralco, for second place on 7-2 cards.
Barangay Ginebra 96 – J. Aguilar 29, Brownlee 24, Tenorio 19, Pringle 14, Dela Cruz 8, Chan 2, Thompson 0, Sargent 0, Caperal 0, Mariano 0.
TNT 93 – McDaniels 32, Pogoy 23, Parks 17, Rosario 13, DiGregorio 2, De Leon 2, Williams 2, Vosotros 2, Reyes 0, D. Semerad 0.
Quarters: 17-23; 38-44; 74-68; 96-93.