Ginebra sizzles late to finally get one against Star
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Barangay Ginebra San Miguel sizzled from beyond the arc late in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Star Hotshots and record their first win of the best-of-7 semifinals series in Game 3, 73-62, on Monday, February 13.
The Mall of Asia Arena was sent into a frenzy after the Gin Kings made 3 straight 3-pointers – one from Japeth Aguilar and two courtesy of Sol Mercado, as part of a deciding 14-0 run from the 5:24 mark that gave Ginebra a 73-60 edge with over a minute to go.
Ginebra finally got one over its rivals after losing two straight to start the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup semis. They avoided a 0-3 hole and snapped the Hotshots' 8-game winning run since the eliminations.
"We hit shots today, that's been the difference maker," said head coach Tim Cone. "The good news is we're back in the series right now. Wer'e not even but we're back in."
Mercado finished with 16 points and 6 assists, while Aguilar contributed 15 markers, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks.
Mark Caguioa provided much-needed spark off the bench with 8 points in under 13 minutes, while LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson had 7 markers apiece.
Joe Devance saw action for the first time since injuring his foot in the quarterfinals, playing over 18 minutes and registering 6 points and 6 rebounds. Cone said his chance of playing again in Game 4 is "less than 50-50".
Star had only Marc Pingris in double figures with 12 points on top of his 18 rebounds. Justin Melton and Paul Lee added 8 and 7 markers, respectively.
Game 4 of this series is on Wednesday, February 15.
Ginebra (73): Mercado 16, Aguilar 15, Caguioa 8, Tenorio 7, Thompson 7, Ferrer 6, Devance 6, Cruz 3, Marcelo 3, Ellis 2, Mariano 0, Helterbrand 0, Mariano 0.
Star (62): Pingris 12, Melton 8, Jalalon 7, Lee 7, Barroca 6, Sangalang 6, Simon 5, Maliksi 4, Reavis 3, Abundo 2, Dela Rosa 2, Brondial 0, Ramos 0.
Quarter scores: 21-10, 33-29, 50-51, 73-62.