Sports

Bolts maintain Gin Kings to unbelievable 26 second half factors as defensive Game 3 masterpiece offers Meralco again Govs’ Cup championship collection lead


Leading Best Import award candidate Justin Brownlee (left) had a miserable time against Cliff Hodge in Game 3. —PBA IMAGES

Leading Best Import award candidate Justin Brownlee (left) had a depressing time in opposition to Cliff Hodge in Game 3. —PBA IMAGES

Meralco bottled up the enemy in a cruel means on Sunday evening and the Bolts pulled out the inconceivable in opposition to Barangay Ginebra to swing again the PBA Governors’ Cup title collection tide of their favor.

Down by eight factors on the half, the Meralco protection held the Gin Kings to a depressing 26-point output within the last two intervals to carve out an 83-74 victory and take a 2-1 lead within the best-of-seven Finals that shocked massively pro-Ginebra followers that made up the group of greater than 16,000 at Mall of Asia Arena.

And then the Bolts went on to fireplace on virtually all cylinders within the last two frames with import Tony Bishop Jr. and Chris Newsome main the best way as Meralco not solely pulled a nostril out forward within the race-to-four affair however may even take a optimistic vibe heading into the vital fourth sport on Wednesday when the collection returns to the cavernous Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.

“I sound like a broken record sometimes, but both teams played really good defense tonight. You can tell that by the score,” Meralco coach Norman Black stated. “It was very difficult to score out there, so it’s just a matter of just getting some stops and trying to hold on as long as we could.”

Bishop, who trails Ginebra counterpart Justin Brownlee within the Best Import race, completed with 30 factors and 16 rebounds and Newsome collected 20 and 11 that went with six assists to finish a lethal 1-2 assault that the Kings by no means had a solution to within the final two quarters.

“We did have some good offensive performances, though,” Black additionally stated.

The protection, although, nonetheless proved to be the largest story of the competition as Cliff Hodge anchored a no-nonsense stand that was highlighted in two sequences within the dying minutes when he smothered a Christian Standhardinger brief stab after which drew an offensive foul from the Ginebra middle within the subsequent play that took the air out of the Kings’ collective sails.

Brownlee went on to steer the Kings with 19 factors however was compelled primarily by Hodge to a depressing 1-for-10 clip from three-point vary as Ginebra, which transformed on 13 photographs from afar in a 99-93 Game 2 win, made simply 4-of-32 to underscore the way it struggled.

Allein Maliksi, who was scoreless in Game 2, hit seven of his 10 factors within the fourth interval for the Bolts, who’re looking for to win a title collection for the primary time in 4 clashes with the Kings for the franchise’s first PBA crown.

Black wanted nobody to remind him that this lead is paying homage to the 2 membership’s first assembly again in 2016. That time, the Kings went on to win the following three video games on the best way to the title.

“I just live in the present—which is we’re up 2-1, and we’ll be back this Wednesday. We have a couple of days to get our legs fresh, and so do they (Gin Kings),” he stated. INQ

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