MANILA — All of a sudden, the Manila Clasico semis is now a series again.
Ginebra took Game 3 of its PBA Philippine Cup Final Four clash with Star through a 73-62 shutdown at the Mall of Asia Arena on Valentine\’s Eve.
The Barangay pulled away late to preserve a hot start that they actually blew.
Ginebra waxed hot at the get-go, taking a 17-4 lead in the first quarter.
But Star slowly crawled back in the second quarter and eventually took the lead, 43-42, with 6:06 left in the third.
The game went back and forth before a 14-0 run highlighted by three straight triples sealed the win for the Barangay, chopping the series lead to 2-1.
Sol Mercado led Ginebra with 16 points, two rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block, while Japeth Aguilar bucked foul trouble and chipped in 15 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, and four blocks.
Joe Devance decided to play despite his foot injury and contributed six points, six rebounds, one block, and one steal.
Marc Pingris tallied 12 markers, 18 boards, and one swat for Star.
Ginebra 73-Mercado 16, Aguilar 15, Caguioa 8, Tenorio 7, Thompson 7, Ferrer 6, Devance 6, Cruz 3, Marcelo 3, Ellis 2, Mariano 0, Helterbrand 0, Mariano 0.
Star 62-Pingris 12, Melton 8, Jalalon 7, Lee 7, Barroca 6, Sangalang 6, Simon 5, Maliksi 4, Reavis 3, Abundo 2, Dela Rosa 2, Brondial 0, Ramos 0.
Quarterscores: 21-10, 33-29, 50-51, 73-62. Ivan Saldajeno/PNA-northboundasia.com