For Allen Durham, Meralco has problems dealing with the third quarter in the 2019 PBA Governors Cup Finals.
That showed in Game Three on Sunday, which it lost, 84-92. The Bolts were only down by a solitary point at the half, until Stanley Pringle sparked a 10-0 run that gave Barangay Ginebra a 53-42 edge.
The Gin Kings then went on an onslaught, even stretching their lead to 23 points, 78-55, late in the period.
“Third quarter. Third quarter killed us,” lamented Durham, who had 23 points, 18 rebounds, and seven assists in the defeat.
“Honestly, the third quarter has been killing us this whole series.”
Durham isn’t wrong, though. Back in Game One, the Bolts already led by 10 twice in the third, only for the Barangay to wipe it out behind LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar to take the 91-87 win.
Then in Game Two last Friday, Meralco lost hold of a 19-point second quarter deficit. Ginebra tied the game up at 70 late in the third canto, though it hung on to secure the 104-102 victory.
“So we got to figure out some way to make some halftime adjustments,” said the former two-time Best Import.
“We can’t keep having third quarters like that. We get third quarters like that, we got to keep getting down, so we got to step it up and really get some heart in the third quarter.”
Another problem, though, has risen for the Bolts. The team is now keeping its fingers crossed for Raymond Almazan after he suffered an apparent knee injury just six minutes into the match.
The 6-foot-8 forward got hurt after landing on Ginebra guard LA Tenorio following a lay-up attempt. He was then carried to the locker room before being ruled out of the game later on.
The extent of Almazan’s injury has yet to be determined.
“It’s a big blow. Raymond has been playing great this series. Rebounding, defense, putback scoring,” Durham said. “It’s definitely a big loss, but, you know, we’ll see if he can come back.
“But if not, everybody else got to step up. Next man up.”