AS Barangay Ginebra made its familiar never-say-die comeback against Magnolia, coach Tim Cone remembered how the franchise's former playing-coach Robert “Sonny” Jaworski rallied his troops and engineer come-from-behind victories in the past before a wildly-cheering crowd.
On Sunday, Cone watched from the sidelines with awe as reigning league MVP Scottie Thompson dished off what he termed as a “Jaworski-like” effort as the Kings sealed their comeback from a 15-point deficit via a 103-97 win against archrival Magnolia.
“I grew up watching Sonny Jaworski in the old Toyota days and early Ginebra days and I've never seen someone bring back a team like Sonny Jaworski except when Scottie brought us back, that was really Jaworski-like,” Cone said, in describing how much Thompson embodied the never-say-die spirit that the “Living Legend” brought to the league's most popular franchise.
“That was what I was thinking the whole time, the barreling drives, the rebounds, it was really a tribute to Sonny,” he added.
The 29-year-old Thompson was magnificent in the last quarter, scoring nine points and quarterbacking the team's come-from-behind effort. And they were enough to help Ginebra deal Magnolia its first loss in the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner's Cup after zooming to a 5-0 start.
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“'Nung sumisigaw na ang mga fans, yung energy namin nabu-boost, thankful kami sa sixth man namin,” shared Thompson, who finished the game with 14 points, six assists, four rebounds and a steal.
For the American coach, he said winning via the comeback route with Ginebra was a great experience, knowing he's got the crowd behind the team.
“Justin (Brownlee) had a big third quarter, and then Scottie took over in the fourth. So again, it was a typical NSD (never-say-die) Ginebra game from the 1990s in my opinion,” explained Cone, the league's winningest coach. “I remember those days when I was on the other side losing games. And it was great to be on this side.”
The win marked the second time Ginebra beat a previously unbeaten team this conference.
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