Beaten at the buzzer the last time out, Barangay Ginebra made sure not to see a repeat of that heartbreaker, coming out strong and finishing even stronger in a vengeful stand Sunday.
The Kings blasted the Hotshots, 103-80, with a dominant Game Three showing and thus gained the pivotal 2-1 lead on their side of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five semis at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
“Obviously, we don’t want to go to Game Five,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, hinting at going all out in a bid to close out the series in Game Four Wednesday over at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
“It’s an opportunity for us to close it out, but I know it’s gonna be tough,” said Ginebra playmaker LA Tenorio.
Cone believed the health status of Magnolia ace Paul Lee would be a key factor, saying his absence takes the wind out of the Hotshots’ sails.
That was the case for Magnolia as Lee – the hero in the Hotshots’ 96-95 escape win in Game Two – was limited to playing two minutes due to an ailment Sunday.
The Kings pounced on the Lee-less Hotshots, starting the game with a 10-0 binge, zooming to a 49-34 upperhand at the half and leading by as many as 25 before sealing the rout.