Ginebra avoids 0-3 series hole, turns back San Miguel in Game 3
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Barangay Ginebra avoided being buried on a 0-3 hole as they took Game 3 of their best-of-7 semifinals series against the San Miguel Beermen with a 95-87 triumph at the Mall of Asia Arena Tuesday, March 13.
It was a seesaw battle in the 4th quarter as Ginebra held a 14-point lead, 83-69. But the Beermen narrowed the gap to just 3 points, 80-83, thanks to an 11-0 salvo.
A Prince Caperal triple sparked a 7-1 run for a 90-81 Gin Kings lead with 4:39 minutes remaining. From that point, the Beermen would only get to as close as 4 points.
After losing Game 2 in overtime despite leading by as much as 9 points late in the last frame, Ginebra made sure to close out this one in fine fashion as LA Tenorio completed an and-one play that pushed their lead to 8, 95-87, with 32.9 seconds left.
Japeth Aguilar finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 3 assists for Ginebra while Tenorio added 18 points and 5 rebounds.
Prince Caperal and Jervy Cruz conjoined for 24 points and 8 boards in the win.
"They’re (San Miguel) just so free-flowing and they’re just out there enjoying themselves and having a good time and we have to bleed for every possession. We have to play perfect to beat them and we almost played perfect tonight," said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.
Ginebra shot an impressive 48.6% from the field and 39.1% from deep, a far cry from San Miguel's 35.6% from the field and 20.7% shooting from long range.
As usual, June Mar Fajardo paced the Beermen with 23 points and 6 rebounds but it was not enough for the Beermen to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Marcio Lassiter scored 14 points in the loss and Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot chipped in 13 points apiece.
Game 4 is on Thursday, March 15, at the same venue.
Ginebra (95): J. Aguilar 25, Tenorio 18, Caperal 12, Cruz 12, Devance 11, Thompson 9, Mercado 8, Ferrer 0, Manuel 0
San Miguel (87): Fajardo 23, Lassiter 14, Cabagnot 13, Santos 13, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Ross 6, Lanete 5, Heruela 3, Espinas 2, De Ocampo 0, Mamaril 0, Pessumal 0.
Quarter scores: 19-15, 45-39, 79-65, 95-87