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Romeo Travis drops 50 as Hotshots exacts vengeance on Ginebra, advance to Finals



Tiebreaker Times Romeo Travis drops 50 as Hotshots exacts vengeance on Ginebra, advance to Finals Basketball News PBA  Tim Cone Scottie Thompson Romeo Travis PBA Season 43 Magnolia Hotshots LA Tenorio Justin Brownlee Japeth Aguilar Ian Sangalang Chito Victolero Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 2018 PBA Governors Cup
Photo from PBA Images

Romeo Travis dropped a massive 50 points to help his Magnolia Hotshots dethrone defending champs Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 112-108, in Game Four of the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup semis, Friday night at Ynares Center.

Travis’ outing was capped by a huge three-point play with 44.1 seconds left that gave Magnolia a 108-106 lead. After, freebies by Jio Jalalon and Paul Lee were enough to end Ginebra’s two-year reign in the conference.

Romeo finished with 13 rebounds, two assists, and three steals.

“Yung puso ng import ko, grabe. Wala akong masabi,” praised Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero of Travis, who was even doubtful to see action in Game Four thanks to a grade two hamstring injury, which he sustained back in Game Three.

Magnolia are making their second Finals appearance this season after playing in the 2018 Philippine Cup Finals versus the San Miguel Beermen. This is also their 29th Finals appearance overall.

Ian Sangalang had 14 points, six rebounds, and six assists, while Lee chimed in 11. Jalalon had nine.

Adversity was pulling Magnolia down in the final 2:17, when they contested that Justin Brownlee’s block on Lee’s lay-up was a goaltending violation. Victolero was assessed with a technical foul for that, and LA Tenorio made the free throw.

Justin Brownlee made a pair of his freebies moments later to give Ginebra a 106-101 lead with 1:44 remaining.

But that then lit up the fire within the Hotshots. Jalalon calmly sank his free throws with 1:18 left, as Ginebra went over the limit with their fouls, and Travis pulled off the booming three-point play with 44.1 ticks for a 108-106 lead.

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Magnolia then turned to their defense to distract Ginebra, and that worked as Tenorio and Brownlee missed their treys. Joe Devance tried to save the ball but it went outside, returning possession to Magnolia with 26 ticks to go.

Another pair of Jalalon free throws about three seconds later widened the Hotshots’ lead to four. But Brownlee sank his tough fallaway jumper to slice the deficit to just a field goal, 108-110, with 14.6 seconds left.

Lee was fouled afterwards by Tenorio, and he did not waste the opportunity to wham the nail in the coffin as he went perfect from the stripe with 13.7 seconds left to play. Ginebra then failed to convert as time expired.

“We don’t know if Romeo and Paul will play today until this morning na naclear sila, we don’t know. Actually kahapon ‘di namin alam gagawin namin because namamaga tuhod ni Paul and si Romeo hamstring niya,” said Victolrto.

“But I give credit to them and the other players because they stood together. Sabi ko sa kanila if we stay together we will survive, and yun ang nagawa namin,” added the second-year Magnolia mentor, trying to hold back tears.

Brownlee had 32 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in the loss, while Japeth Aguilar had 25 points and 14 rebounds. Scottie Thompson filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, eight caroms, eight assists, and a game-high six steals.

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.

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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.