As expected the PBA Philippine Cup Final Four match-up are getting hotter with some interesting twists, and the most recent was Barangay Ginebra’s victory over Star Hotshots 73-62 in the semi-finals series held on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
For kings it was first win in the semis but it dropped Hotshots’ best-of-seven series lead to 2-1.
Sol Mercado led Ginebra with 16 markers, while Japeth Aguiler added 15.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone is expecting more of this type of game that will eventually favour his side. He said –
“I thought, before the series, that this would be a defensive battle,” But this is much graver. We’re bleeding for points and so are they.
“It’s not bad basketball, it’s just really good defense,” he said. “And I’d like to think that this favors us. But they’re a great team, too.”
Mercado and Aguilar added 11 points combined in the 4th quarter which was more like a confidence booster they need to battle the Game 4 on Wednesday at Smart Arante Coliseum.
Kings had 21-10 lead over Hotshots when heading to 2nd quarter, but could not stop Star, as Hotshots bounced back to cut the deficit to 29-26 with the help of Justin Melton trey at the 2:34 mark of 2nd period.
However, Ginebra clanged to a 33-26 advantage at the halftime break. In the 3rd quarter, Melton dropped another triple and a bucket from Mark Barroca gave the Star the 43-42 lead with just 6:06 remaining before the payoff time.
Star entered the 4th quarter with 51-50 advantage over Kings, however, Ginebra reclaimed the lead 53-51, through a Scottie Thompson trey at the 10:57 mark.
The Gin Kings will try to even the series in Game 4 on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.