There won’t be any comebacks this time out.
Ginebra made sure to finish the job on Tuesday as it hacked out a 95-87 Game 3 victory over San Miguel to gain a game in their 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
LA Tenorio drilled the dagger three-point play in the final 32.9 seconds to put the game away as the Gin Kings fended off a late rally from the Beermen.
“They’re just so free-flowing and they’re just out there enjoying themselves and having a good time and we have to bleed for every possession. We have to play perfect to beat them and we almost played perfect tonight,” said coach Tim Cone os Ginebra shot 52-percent from the field in the first half to establish early control before keeping that mark at 48-percent until the end.
Ginebra entered the fourth quarter with a 14-point advantage and saw it cut down to just three, 83-80, with 6:07 to play after a pair of Alex Cabagnot freebies but Prince Caperal doused the that rally with a shot clock-beating triple.
San Miguel staged one last rally as June Mar Fajardo sliced the lead down to three anew, 90-87 with 2:08 remaining, but Japeth Aguilar quickly responded on the other end, cleaning up Joe Devance’s miss with a dunk in the last 1:50 before Tenorio’s backbreaking layup.
Aguilar paced Ginebra with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Tenorio poured 18 markers, five boards and two assists.
Caperal continued his stellar showing, collecting 12 points and four rebounds, Jervy Cruz also had 12 markers and four boards, while Joe Devance just missed out on a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Scottie Thompson also kept on doing the dirty work for the Gin Kings, winding up with nine markers, seven boards, and six assists.
“We’re happy to get one, but we’re not satisfied,” said Cone.
Game 4 is on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena, with the Beermen still leading the series, 2-1.
Fajardo kept the flame burning for San Miguel with 23 points, 16 rebounds, and two assists, while Marcio Lassiter was limited to just 14 markers on a 2-of-6 shooting from threes before fouling out late in the game.
Cabagnot and Arwind Santos both had 13 markers apiece as the Beermen tried to stay in the game despite Chris Ross sitting out the second half because of a strained right thigh.
GINEBRA 95 — J. Aguilar 25, Tenorio 18, Caperal 12, Cruz 12, Devance 11, Thompson 9, Mercado 8, Ferrer 0, Manuel 0.
SAN MIGUEL 87 — Fajardo 23, Lassiter 14, Cabagnot 13, Santos 13, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Ross 6, Lanete 5, Heruela 3, Espinas 2, De Ocampo 0, Mamaril 0, Pessumal 0.
Quarters: 19-15, 45-39, 79-65, 95-87.
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