Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco break their 1-1 tie Sunday, April 10 as action is expected to intensify in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Gin Kings will look to once again make the key plays in their quest to repeat over the Bolts in the 6:30 p.m. showdown before another big crowd expected to gather inside the Pasay City showplace.
Coach Tim Cone sees Game 3 as something that can potentially determine the outcome of the series, which is why getting a win will be vital for Ginebra.
“Game 3s are always kind of telling in a series,” said Cone. “They kind of tell which direction is gonna go. You even out those first two games, that third game basically makes it the first win in a best of five. And that's always crucial.”
Ginebra weathered Meralco’s bid to erase a 20-point deficit when a pair of Justin Brownlee baskets and Scottie Thompson’s one-handed rebound resulted in a 99-93 win on Friday.
Brownlee, Thompson and Christian Standhardinger are expected to play key roles anew while LA Tenorio tries to shake off his shooting woes while Nards Pinto looks to once again do his usual role of being a pesky defender as well as someone who can provide instant offense.
Japeth Aguilar’s return from an injured calf could be a possibility after taking part in warmups in Game 2.
Meralco, meanwhile, seeks to ride on its failed comeback bid in hopes of putting up a better showing this time.
The Bolts fell behind in the first half and trailed by 20 early in the third when guard Aaron Black sparked a comeback.
Black has been the most consistent player for Meralco through two games, but the Bolts will try to make Allein Maliksi get his shooting form back after failing to score in Game 2.
Consistency is also key for Bolts import Tony Bishop, who erupted for 14 of his 31 points in the first quarter.
Chris Newsome, Chris Banchero, Raymond Almazan and Cliff Hodge are also eager to put Meralco back in the driver seat.