Kings eye commanding 3-0 lead

Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - December 4, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  A fired up Barangay Ginebra Kings will go for a commanding 3-0 lead as they battle the staggering TNT Tropang Giga in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven finals today at the AUF Sports Arena in Angeles City, Pampanga.

In their 6 p.m. encounter with the Tropang Giga, the Kings train their sights on stepping a game away from clinching their first All-Filipino Conference crown in 13 years.

Coach Tim Cone and his wards rolled to a rousing 2-0 start in the race-to-four championship showdown after pulling off another 92-90 thriller over the Tropang Giga in last Wednesday’s Game 2.

Ginebra’s down-the-wire triumph was reminiscent of its 100-94 overtime victory in the series opener last Sunday.

For the Tropang Giga, it was another bitter pill to swallow.

They had an opportunity to steal the match in Game 1 but Jayson Castro missed a runner in the closing seconds of the regulation period.

And despite playing without top gunner Bobby Ray Parks Jr. with a strained left calf muscle in the second game, the Tropang Giga still dictated the pace of the match for most of the way, surging ahead by as much as 15 points, 39-54, halfway through the third quarter before collapsing under a spirited endgame fightback by Ginebra.

TNT was ahead for the last time, 85-84, as Scottie Thompson drilled in a crucial 3-pointer to put Ginebra on tiop for good, 87-85, with only 30 seconds left to play. LA Tenorio then went 5-of-6 from the foul line to wrap things up for the Kings.

With the Kings leading by three, 88-85, the Tropang Giga had a chance to square the count and possibly send the game into overtime, but Cebuano star guard RR Pogoy missed an ill-timed triple with 14 ticks remaining in the gameclock.

After going down a deep 0-2 hole, the Bong Ravena-mentored Tropang Giga are left with no choice other than to hit back at the Kings to keep their flickering title hopes alive.

It’s a tall order they have to face.

For now, the Tropang Giga may be down but they are definitely not out.

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