For Romeo Travis, the Magnolia Hotshots saw their doom sealed in the third quarter of Game Three of their 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals clash versus the Alaska Aces, Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Travis and Magnolia were shell-shocked by the Aces’ explosion, as the Milkmen went off and made a whopping 33 points while limiting their opponents to just 14 for an 83-50 lead heading into the fourth.
That run was spearheaded by none other than Mike Harris, as he contributed 22 points. The Best Import award frontrunner finished with 36 points and 18 rebounds – far better than his 21-point, 14-rebound averages in the first two games.
“The third quarter was when the game got away from us. Bad possession on offense, followed by horrible possessions on defense. It’s pretty much how you lose games,” said Travis, who only had 18 points and three boards.
“[When you] don’t play basketball the right way, you’re gonna lose.”
Making matters worse, he stepped on Harris’ foot late in the quarter, then crumpled to the floor in pain.
“I’m okay,” he said about the right ankle sprain he suffered.
Magnolia eventually lost big, 71-100, marking their worst Finals loss in team history.
A surprising turnaround, as the Hotshots’ heads were up heading into Game Three – they were bringing with them a 2-0 lead. And for Travis, it ended up affecting their play, even if he already warned the team about complacency.
“I tried to warn the guys; and I tried to warn myself about complacency, and just thinking we can show up and win. But we’re not a good enough team to do that. We’re not talented enough to just show up and win,” he lamented.
“We have to work hard. And they outworked us on both ends and all facets of the game tonight.”
Game Four is on Wednesday, December 12, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. And for the former Best Import awardee, the short break will be beneficial for Magnolia’s preparations.
“The two-day rest is more about being able to prepare. It will give us a chance to prepare better, and kind of come up with a scheme to help us defensively, because they adjusted and we didn’t,” said the 33-year-old forward.
“Today, you’ve seen what happens when you don’t adjust and you don’t play hard. I think more so than anything, they didn’t really do anything special besides play harder than us, and it showed in the third quarter.”
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