Ginebra’s LA Tenorio drives to the basket past Magnolia’s Paul Lee in Game 4 of the semifinal series last night at the Ynares Center.
PBA Media Group
Hotshots march to finals, end Kings’ reign
Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - November 17, 2018 - 12:00am

Game today (Cuneta Astrodome)

6:30 p.m. – Alaska vs Meralco

MANILA, Philippines — Forty-eight hours from his worst game, Romeo Travis turned in his best, exploding for 50 big points before Jio Jalalon and Paul Lee helped with key charities at the finish as Magnolia repulsed Barangay Ginebra, 112-108, to advance to the PBA Governors Cup Finals at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo last night.

Even with a Grand 2 hamstring strain, Travis carried the Hotshots on his shoulders as they ended the Kings’ title reign and clinched the first finals berth in the season-ending tourney versus the winner of the other semifinal matchup between Alaska Milk and Meralco.

The Aces try to close out the other series at 6:30 p.m. tonight back at the Cuneta Astrodome.

“It’s all heart. Our guys don’t want to play a Game Five. I couldn’t play a Game Five, I couldn’t go on with my injury,” said Travis of their conquest of the Gin Kings last night to end their series at 3-1.

“The break is huge. If there won’t be a break, I couldn’t play today. I’m happy to be here and happy to win,” said Travis, who will try to lead the Hotshots to a title run at the resumption of the tourney in December after the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.

In foiling the Kings’ Governors Cup three-peat quest, the Hotshots will now have a chance to reclaim the third conference crown that they won in two consecutive years in 2013-14.

“From Romeo Travis to our last guy, everybody contributed. It’s their chemistry. It’s our No. 1 weapon – chemistry not talent,” said coach Chito Victolero as Magnolia made a second finals this season.

The Hotshots, also finalists in the last Philippine Cup, seek a 14th crown in the franchise’s 29th finals overall.

After a mere 12-point showing in their Game Three loss, Travis came back and showed his repertoire of offense to humble Commissioner’s Cup Best Import Justin Brownlee and his teammates.

Curiously, Travis put in two career-best games in the series both at the Ynares Sports Center, the first with his 37 markers in Game One.

“I love this gym, the fans are close. It reminds me of high school basketball where the fans are on top of you, showing their emotions,” said Travis, also sizzling with 13 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

The big highlight of his game, however, was a five-point binge he made to get the Hotshots back into the thick of things after a bad break that went against them entering the last two minutes of the game.

NOTES: Former Kia coach Chris Gavina is making a PBA comeback via Rain or Shine which signed him to help out coach Caloy Garcia call the shots for the E-Painters starting the next Philippine Cup.

The scores:

Magnolia 112 – Travis 50, Sangalang 14, Lee 11, Jalalon 9, Herndon 8, Barroca 8, Simon 6, Dela Rosa 4, Reavis 2, Melton 0, Brondial 0.

Ginebra 108 – Brownlee 32, Aguilar 25, Thompson 12, Tenorio 12, Devance 11, Slaughter 7, Mercado 5, Chan 2, Mariano 2, Ferrer 0.

Quarterscores: 20-27, 51-53, 81-79, 112-108

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