By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE BARANGAY Ginebra San Miguel Kings enter today’s Game Four of their best-of-seven Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup final series with the Meralco Bolts looking to notch a commanding 3-1 lead.
Thrust themselves back into the driver’s seat, 2-1, with a 92-84 win in Game Three on Sunday, the Kings seek to bury the Bolts further and move closer to the title of the season-ending PBA tournament.
Barangay Ginebra broke the game open in the third frame of Game Three, led by guard Stanley Pringle.
And while Meralco showed resilience to get back in the game after, coming to within five points, 87-82, with a minute to play, it still fell short in its comeback bid, and now find itself needing to win in today’s match to keep in step with the Kings.
Import Justin Brownlee led the Kings in the Game Three win with 24 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Japeth Aguilar had 23 points and seven blocks.
Mr. Pringle finished with 21 points, 17 coming from their telling third-quarter run, while backcourt mate LA Tenorio had 11 markers.
For the Bolts, it was Chris Newsome who top-scored with 24 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
Import Allen Durham had 23 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists while Bryan Faundo came off the bench to fire off 10 points.
Big man Raymond Almazan finished with two points and two rebounds before leaving the game midway into the opening quarter from an apparent knee injury.
His status for today’s game is still unknown as of this writing.
“I think defensively we did better in this game (Game Three). We got to control what we needed to control. We got our rhythm going, In the first two games we had a hard time in it but in this game we got our rhythm, especially in that third quarter,” said Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone of what he think it did for them in the last game.
But the multi-titled coach underscored that they are still up against a formidable opponent in Meralco despite the latter expected to play undermanned sans Mr. Almazan.
“Two days till the next game. And professional players are expected to bounce back. We still expect it to be a ping-pong match. Nothing will come easy,” Mr. Cone said.
For the Bolts, adjustments are the order of business after losing Game Three and possibly playing without Mr. Almazan.
“Because of what happened we will try to adjust as much as we can just in case we play without him (Almazan) and be ready in the next game,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
Game Four of the PBA Governors’ Cup finals is set for 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.