MANILA, Philippines – Chris Ross couldn't have picked a better time to erupt from 3-point range as San Miguel obliterated Ginebra anew for a 2-1 lead in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals.
Ross buried 7 triples to power the Beermen to a rousing 132-94 romp of the Gin Kings in Game 3 of the best-of-7 affair at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, August 1.
Scoreless and ejected in Game 2, the shifty guard scattered 23 points on top of 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals for the Beermen, who have won the last two games by an average of 33.0 points after dropping the opener by 28 points.
Matching Ross' pinpoint sniping, Renaldo Balkman frolicked in the paint with 28 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and two steals and June Mar Fajardo finished with a monster double-double of 22 points and 15 boards.
It was a nip-and-tuck battle at halftime with the Beermen holding a 53-51 lead until Ross, who already buried 4 treys in the first half, drilled in 3 straight 3-pointers at one stretch to give San Miguel a 73-62 lead.
Balkman then picked up where Ross left off as he scored 8 points in a 19-10 spurt as the Beermen headed into the final frame with a 20-point advantage, 92-72.
San Miguel outscored Ginebra, 39-21, in the 3rd quarter.
Christian Standhardinger chalked up 12 points and 8 boards, Marcio Lassiter chipped in 12 points and 9 assists and Arwind Santos added 11 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals in the win.
Alex Cabagnot, who had 33 points in San Miguel's Game 2 triumph, made his presence felt with an all-around effort of 9 points, 8 assists, 3 steals and 3 rebounds.
Justin Brownlee churned out 32 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists but had a lack of support as only one Ginebra teammate finished in double figures.
Game 4 is on Friday, August 3, at the same venue.
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, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, de Ocampo 0, Agovida 0, Vigil 0
Ginebra (94): Brownlee 32, Caguioa 12, Slaughter 9, Devance 7, Mercado 7, Tenorio 5, Chan 5, Mariano 5, Ferrer 5, Aguilar 4, Thompson 3, Cruz 0, Caperal 0, Manuel 0
Quarter scores: 30-27, 53-51, 92-72, 132-94
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.