After the San Miguel Beermen torched their defense in Game 2, the Magnolia Hotshots came out in Game 3 determined to shut them down defensively. The Hotshots pulled out a gritty 86-82 win to take a 2-1 series lead.
Magnolia forced San Miguel to play their slowed down game, grinding out every possession and forcing tough shots at every point. The Hotshots limited the Beermen to only 32% shooting from the field and 23% from beyond the arc. San Miguel was out-rebounded by the active and lengthy Magnolia frontline, 43-32.
Rafi Reavis and Ian Sangalang killed the Beermen with their polished midrange game and their offensive rebounding. Sangalang scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds while Reavis had 16 and 15. The two combined for 15 rebounds on the offensive end. Mark Barroca led Magnolia with 22 points. Arwind Santos was the best player of San Miguel with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
After a tight first period where San Miguel scored 24 points, the Hotshots clamped down on defense and limited them to just 12 points in the pivotal second period. The Hotshots jumped ahead as they unleashed a 7-0 run behind key contributions from their bench. Then from a slim two-point lead, Magnolia closed the quarter on an 11-3 run as Barroca, Reavis and Sangalang took over. Magnolia held on to a nine-point lead heading into the second half.
The three Hotshots continued to lead the way in the second half as they were able to maintain their lead at safe levels.
In the fourth period, the Beermen tried to comeback multiple times. After Paul Lee buried a jumper to give Magnolia a 10-point lead, Chris Ross, Christian Standhardinger and Santos teamed up for an 8-0 blast to cut the advantage down to just two. But Sangalang, Barroca and Reavis countered with their own 7-0 run to put the Hotshots back up by nine.
In the final moments of the game, June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot and Ross pulled to within three points. But Barroca nailed four clutch free throws sandwiching a key defensive stand. That gave Magnolia enough breathing room to take the win.