Ginebra bounces back in Game 3 to reclaim series lead

Barangay Ginebra turned the tables on the Meralco Bolts. Ginebra used their own version of the third quarter run and held off a Bolts comeback attempt in the fourth period to win Game 3, 92-84. Ginebra takes a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series.

Justin Brownlee continues his stellar run in the Finals, putting up a near triple-double of 24 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Japeth Aguilar was a monster defensively, blocking seven shots to go along with 23 points. Stanley Pringle scored 21 points and led the run in the third quarter with a bulk of his buckets coming during that stretch. Chris Newsome led Meralco with 24 points on 58% shooting.

With less than five seconds left in the first half, Scottie Thompson scooted into the lane and dished off a bounce pass to a waiting Brownlee. The Ginebra import scored an and-one hoop through contact to give his team a slim one-point lead heading to the break.

That basket gave Ginebra the momentum they needed to string together a strong run to open the third period and pull away from the Bolts. Back-to-back stops by Ginebra to open the third period led to fast break buckets from Pringle and Brownlee. Brownlee continued the run by finding LA Tenorio on the right corner and Pringle on the left wing for two straight triples, capping off a 10-0 run to start the third.

Pringle continued his onslaught throughout the period. He closed the quarter by scoring 10 of the final 16 points of Ginebra in a barrage that saw them go up by as much as 23 points. Ginebra settled for a 20-point lead heading to the final period.

In the fourth period, the Bolts tried to make a comeback run and steal the win from Ginebra. Sparked by Trevis Jackson’s outside shooting and Allen Durham’s strong moves inside, Meralco outscored Ginebra 24-9 in the first eight minutes of the fourth period to cut the deficit down to just five points.

That was the closest the Bolts would get. Tenorio drilled a clutch triple and Aguilar iced the game with a strong drive to the hoop, giving Ginebra the crucial win.