KG Canaleta triggered Ginebra’s big fourth-quarter breakaway. Mike Cortez delivered the knockout blow to B-MEG.
Ginebra fought with a sense of urgency in Sunday’s Game Three of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five semis series, ripping the B-Meg Llamados, 88-79, at the Cuneta Astrodome.
A sellout crowd of 10,674 came to witness the Gin Kings’ revival of hope. Down 2-0, the team refused to roll over, denying the Llamados a sweep and a finals berth.
Canaleta drilled in all of four of his three-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 23 points.
Cortez, on the other hand, was brilliant all game, dishing out the first triple-double performance of his career. He finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
“I can’t ask anything more from our guys. Kahit sino ang mag-deliver kasi pitch-in, pitch-in na lang ginagawa namin in the absence of Mark Caguioa,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.
Canaleta’s three-pointers came in a two-minute stretch in the fourth period, including three straight, that gave the Gin Kings a 78-65 lead with 7:03 left in the match.
And when the Llamados cut the deficit to just four points, Cortez hit five straight to give Ginebra an 83-74 advantage with only 2:12 left in the game.
The Llamados were affected by the ejection of Marc Pingris, who was thrown out after a flagrant foul he issued against Canaleta in the early part of the second period. He was assessed a technical foul in the earlier play, leading to his ejection.
Apart from losing their most energetic player, the Llamados also drew a subpar effort from import Denzel Bowles, who only scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Ginebra (88) – Canaleta 23, Cortez 17, Ababou 13, Helterbrand 12, Hatfield 9, Vroman 8, Labagala 3, Raymundo 3, Wilson 0, Mamaril 0.
B-Meg (79) – Intal 18, Simon 15, Yap 14, Bowles 11, Urbiztondo 8, Devance 7, Reavis 6, Barroca 0, Burtscher 0, Villanueva 0, Pingris 0, De Ocampo 0.
Quarters: 17-12; 37-37; 61-57; 88-79
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