2013 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals Roundup: October 16, 2013

Petron Blaze tore San Mig Coffee to shreds in the Game 3, 90-68, to take a critical 2-1 series lead in the Finals of the 2013 PBA Governors’ Cup.

Paolo Hubalde got a lot of burn in Game 3 as
Alex Cabagnot sat out with an injury.

Raise your hand if you thought an Alex Cabagnot-less Petron Blaze squad could dominate the San Mig Coffee Mixers the way it did last night. No takers? Yeah, me too. Elijah Millsap more than filled in Cabaggi'es absence, however, pouring another all-around effort highlighted by 28 points. He also added 8 boards, 3 dimes, and 2 steals in a great show of quarterbacking. He has help, of course, as both Denok Miranda and Paolo Hubalde stepped up with a combined 15-point output.

That Cabagnot was out should have been the worst thing in this game already, but, man, what the hell was wrong with the Mixers? Was the huge point difference just because Petron shot well from long range (10/24 threes), or was it more because SMC's own offense contracted lethargy (they shot 2/15 from long range and had no local scoring more than 10 points)? And this after winning Game 2 in impressive fashion!!! When interviewed postgame, Marc Pingris said that his team probably had just 30% focus in this game. Way to play in the Finals, San Mig Coffee. Way to play.

Petron coach Gee Abanilla knew he had to make adjustments after the Game 2 loss, and that's exactly what he did. The Boosters established June Mar Fajardo's presence down low and that led to more open looks for their shooters. Simple lang naman ang basketball, di ba? The chief beneficiaries? Marcio Lassiter and Millsap. Now, the big question is what kind of adjustments will coach Tim Cone make in the fourth installment of this engaging chess match?

Game Recaps:
The Petron Blaze Boosters bucked the absence of starting point guard Alex Cabagnot to cruise to a surprisingly easy 90-68 victory over San Mig Coffee in Game Three of the PLDT Telpad Governors’ Cup finals on Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Import Elijah Millsap started at point guard for the Boosters in place of Cabagnot, leading the Boosters with 28 points and eight rebounds to take a 2-1 series lead.

“It’s something we tinkered with in the offseason,” said Petron coach Gee Abanilla of his decision to move Millsap to the one-spot with the absence of Cabagnot, who is out with an injured foot. “Medyo maganda naman ang kinalabasan.”

To say that Petron played well is an understatement. The Boosters held the Mixers to just 10 points in the second quarter to take a 55-30 spread heading into halftime.

“They were prepared,” said Abanilla. “They played hard defensively.”

They pushed the lead to 30 points, 77-47, late in the third quarter and never saw their lead fall below 20.

June Mar Fajardo continued his fine play in the series, dominating for 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field along with eight rebounds. With the rookie center drawing all the attention down low, Petron shooters got plenty of open looks, shooting 10-of-24 (10-of-24) from beyond the arc.

“We made a couple of adjustments and I’m happy with the way the team responded,” said Abanilla.

In contrast, San Mig Coffee kept firing blanks, shooting just 2-of-15 from three-point distance.

“I said in our last game, we had to be firing on all cylinders, and obviously we didn’t tonight,” said Mixers coach Tim Cone, who waved the white flag with more than eight minutes left in the game by taking out import Marqus Blakely.

The tournament’s Best Import winner finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. James Yap was the only other Mixers player in double figures with 10 points.

PET 90 – Millsap 28, Fajardo 19, Lassiter 13, Santos 10, Hubalde 9, Miranda 6, Tubid 5, Deutchman 0, Lutz 0, Kramer 0, Isip 0, Ildefonso 0.
SMC 68 – Blakely 17, Yap 10, Mallari 9, Devance 9, Barroca 7, Simon 6, Pingris 5, Reavis 3, Alvarez 1, Gaco 1, Ponferrada 0, Acuna 0, Najorda 0, De Ocampo 0.
QS: 28-20, 55-30, 77-52, 90-68

Elijah Millsap played point quite well in
leading Petron to a 2-1 series lead.

Marqus Blakely couldn't dominate this time around.

Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from InterAKTV. (Writing credit to Rey Joble)

Images: Images are from InterAKTV. (Photo credit to Paolo Papa)

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