For 44 minutes in Game 2, the Meralco Bolts were playing solid basketball and showed poised to tie the Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup finals series until the defending champion Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings unloaded a blistering 19-3 run to put away their rivals.
In Game 3, the Bolts made sure they would hang on from start to finish.
“Our defense was pretty solid just like it was last game. The only difference is we played the difference for 48 minutes instead of just 44,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
But defense wasn’t the only reason for the Bolts’ all-important win as they were able to knock down open shots.
Reynel Hugnatan also stepped up big time, hitting seven triples in Game Three after being a non-factor in the first two games.
“The game becomes a lot easier when you can knock down your outside shots,” Black said. “Today we did a much better job hitting our perimeter shots.”
But for Barangay Ginebra team captain LA Tenorio, Meralco didn’t do something special to stop the Gin Kings.
“Na-carry over nila yun (magandang laro sa Game 2). Wala naman silang special na ginawa talaga to win this game,” Tenorio said.
“They really came out strong from the start. Medyo napantayan na nga namin eh pero hindi namin na-sustain. Sila, na-sustain nila. Yun ang dapat naming gawin for the next game, yung aggressiveness namin and execution namin, especially towards the end of the game.”