PBA Finals: San Miguel blasts Ginebra anew, takes 2-1 series advantage

MANILA, Philippines – It’s not just 2 consecutive wins for San Miguel but it’s a 2 blowout wins in-a-row as the Beermen overpowered Barangay Ginebra with 38 huge points, 132-94 to break the tie and take the 2-1 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals series lead on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Chris Ross drained 7 three pointers to help San Miguel overpower Ginebra for 2-1 series lead
Chris Ross drained 7 three pointers to help San Miguel overpower Ginebra for 2-1 series lead | Photo Credit: pba.ph

Looking back on the previous games, the team that starts well wins the game. In this game, Barangay Ginebra got the head start over San Miguel.

Justin Brownlee waxed hot from both the inside and the outside that gave his team a decent lead in most of the opening quarter. San Miguel however, counter attacked with a balance scoring from all its players and downsized Ginebra’s advantage.

At the end of the period, the Beermen found themselves ahead by 3, 30-27 and with Chris Ross leading his squad with 11 points.

Coach Tim Cone re-shuffled his players on court and inserted his veteran, Mark Caguioa. “The Spark” provided the Gins a much needed intensity and hustle on the floor in the 2nd quarter that prompted Barangay’s scoring run to take back the lead from SMB.

Alex Cabagnot exploded for 33 points in game 2. But tonight, The “Crunch Man” hadn’t registered a single point with over 6 minutes gone by in the second. Good thing that Marcio Lassiter and Christian Standhardinger were chipping in valuable numbers to compensate Cabagnot’s scoring hibernation.

Renaldo Balkman got accidentally elbowed by Greg Slaughter in the eyelid. Balkman got cut and was automatically sent back to the bench to get patched up. The former New York Knick’s momentary absence gave Ginebra the chance to add more numbers to its lead.

Balkman spent few minutes off court and came back stronger to end the 1st half with a 53-51 advantage over the Gins.

Good news for San Miguel as Alex Cabagnot finally made his first 2 points after 24 minutes as the 2nd half unfolded.

Cabagnot’s timely deuce was just the start of San Miguel’s scoring blitz as the Beermen posted their first double-digit lead of the game but Justin Brownlee was too prompt to react as he dropped 7 quick points to slash SMB’s lead to just 4.

San Miguel quietly ramped up the score and thwarted Ginebra’s comeback. Chris Ross had been instrumental in SMB’s run. Ross had already jotted down 7 triples with 5 more minutes left in the 3rd period.

Alex Cabagnot might not be SMB’s scoring factor in this game but the lefty guard had been locating his open teammates well for some pretty nice dimes and for the 92-72 lead after the penultimate quarter.

The Beermen started the final canto with a 7-point unanswered points even without June Mar Fajardo on the floor.

Midway of the fourth, San Miguel’s margin ballooned to 30 and the Gins all of a sudden lost their sting and their never say die attitude vanished as they watched the Beermen slowly take away game 3 from them.

At the 4-minute mark, Coach Tim Cone finally conceded to Coach Leo Austria as he sent his reserves in. In the same manner, Coach Austria’s third-stringers led by Kelly Nabong to finish the game.

Game 4 will be on Friday, August 3, 2018, 7 pm still at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The scores: 

San Miguel 132 - Balkman 28, Ross 23, Fajardo 22, Lassiter 12, Standhardinger 12, Santos 11, Cabagnot 9, Nabong 6, Pessumal 5, Heruela 4, Lanete 0.

Ginebra 94 - Brownlee 32, Caguioa 12, Slaughter 9, Mercado 7, Devance 7, Tenorio 5, Mariano 5, Chan 5, Ferrer 5, Aguilar J. 4, Thompson 3, Caperal 0, Manuel 0.

Quarters: 30-27, 53-51, 92-72, 132-94

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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