Game 3 is all that matters now as Barangay Ginebra and Rain or Shine both seek to gain a critical advantage in their best-of-five semifinals series in the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Commissoner’s Cup.
Tied at 1-1, the Gin Kings and Elasto Painters are bound to break the deadlock in their 7 p.m. duel at the Mall of Asia Arena today.
On the brink of falling to a deep 0-2 hole, Rain or Shine answered the call when needed in Game 2 to put itself right back in the series.
The Elasto Painters finished strong Thursday night, unloading 12 unanswered points in the final three minutes to pull off a 109-100 victory in Game 2.
Reggie Johnson starred with 25 points and 20 rebounds in the equalizer, while James Yap and Gabe Norwood hit clutch shots to help as well.
Still, Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia credits his team’s resiliency and defense down the stretch in the last outing.
“I’m so proud of the players. We won that game because we hit bigger shots and had good defense in the end,” said Garcia. “I hope we can sustain that for us to have a good chance of getting another one.”
Ginebra look poised to have a 2-0 lead after taking a 14-point advantage early on in Game 2, but it was not meant to be as Rain or Shine responded.
Now, the Gin Kings are hoping that Japeth Aguilar can help them and be available come game time to make his series debut.
Aguilar sat out the series’ first two games after injuring his Achilles heel in Ginebra’s clinching victory against Meralco in the quarterfinals.
As of this report, Aguilar is bound to suit up but will be a game-time decision.