Meralco clamped down on Brgy. Ginebra in Game 3 of the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals and established a 2-1 series lead after pulling off an 83-74 victory, Sunday night inside a jampacked SM MOA Arena in Pasay City.
Tony Bishop and Chris Newsome combined for 50 points and 27 rebounds as the Bolts moved 2 wins closer to winning their first PBA crown since taking over the Sta. Lucia franchise in 2010.
Defense was the name of the game as the Norman Black-mentored squad held the defending champions to their lowest output in the conference. The crowd darlings scored a previous low of 80 during a victory over the Alaska Aces last December 12.
“I sound like a broken record sometimes but both teams played really good defense tonight and you can tell that by the score,” said Black during the post-game press conference.
“It was difficult to score out there and it was a matter of getting some stops and try to hold on as long as we could.”
Allein Maliksi bounced back from a scoreless Game 2 performance and finished with 10 points in 28 minutes of action. Aaron Black and Raymond Almazan, meanwhile, added 8 and 6 markers, respectively.
Justin Brownlee paced the Gin Kings with 19 points on a pedestrian 8-of-21 shooting including 1-of-10 from beyond the arc. The leading contender for the Best Import award also contributed 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 blocks and a steal in 44 minutes of play.
Christian Standhardinger added 17 points while LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson chipped in 11 markers apiece.
The Gin Kings will try to even the series once more when the two sides clash anew in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series on Wednesday, April 13 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Meralco 83 – Bishop 30, Newsome 20, Maliksi 10, Black 8, Almazan 6, Quinto 3, Banchero 2, Hugnatan 2, Baclao 2, Hodge 0.
Brgy. Ginebra 74 – Brownlee 19, Standhardinger 17, Tenorio 11, Thompson 11, Chan 9, Pinto 5, Devance 2, Tolentino 0, Mariano 0.
Quarterscores: 27-22, 40-48, 62-61, 83-74.