PBA Finals: We got our game going tonight -- Cone
Mark Escarlote on Jan 12, 2020 10:49 PM
Barangay Ginebra's 35-point third quarter eruption gave the Gin Kings enough cushion to stave off Meralco's late game rally to take Game 3 of the PBA Governors' Cup Finals. (Josh Albelda)
Barangay Ginebra came out of the locker room after the halftime break on a tear as the Gin Kings caught Meralco flat-footed to take a 2-1 series lead in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals on Sunday at the Big Dome.
The Gin Kings pounced on the Bolts, who lost big man Raymond Almazan to a knee injury early in the opening period, with a third quarter eruption to carve out a 92-84 victory to get back on the winning track.
“For the most part, we were able to get our game going tonight,” said Gin Kings coach Tim Cone, relieved that his squad was quick to bounce back from a sorry loss in Game 2 in Lucena City in Quezon last Friday.
Taking advantage of Meralco missing a vital cog in the paint, the Gin Kings blasted 35 points in the third quarter while limiting the Bolts to only 16 for a 78-58 cushion heading into the payoff period. The Gin Kings held a 43-42 lead after the first two quarters.
Ginebra was lights out on offense in that period as it hit 14 of its 23 attempts in the field including four triples. The Gin Kings forced Meralco to commit eight turnovers that they converted to 14 points while taking care of their possession as Ginebra cruised in the third without an error.
“That's the way we play. We got some stops and got on the open court,” Cone said.
Stanley Pringle anchored the Gin Kings explosion in the third with 17 points off 7-of-9 shooting clip from the field including three treys. He closed his night with 21 points behind Justin Brownlee’s 24 and Japeth Aguilar’s 23 markers.
“Stanley had a bunch of spectacular plays that really revved up the crowd,” Cone said. “And I thought just defensively, we did a much better job tonight in terms of controlling some of the guys we wanted to control.”
Ginebra’s third quarter spurt was enough insurance to stave off Meralco’s desparate push late in the fourth canto as LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar put the finishing touches to preserve the victory.
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