MANILA, Philippines – Meralco import Allen Durham says the Bolts have to find a way to fix their third quarter woes after another disappointing outing in Game 3 of the PBA Governors' Cup finals against Barangay Ginebra on Sunday.
Even after losing Raymond Almazan to injury, the Bolts were down by just one point, 43-42, at the half against the Gin Kings. That quickly changed in the third quarter, however: Ginebra scored 10 straight points to open the frame, and outscored Meralco, 35-16, in the next 12 minutes.
"Third quarter killed us," Durham lamented after they absorbed a 92-84 defeat that put them down, 1-2, in the best-of-7 title series.
Meralco committed eight turnovers in the third period that Ginebra turned into 14 points. The Gin Kings made 14 of their 23 shots – including four three-pointers – while limiting the Bolts to just 6-of-16 shooting from the field. Ginebra eventually led by as much as 23 points, 78-55, late in the quarter.
Durham tried to bring Meralco back in the game in the fourth period, but the deficit was simply too big. The Bolts got to within five points with a shade over two minutes to go, before a timely three-pointer by LA Tenorio put Ginebra back in control.
"You know, we gotta figure out a way to get some energy, better halftime adjustments, you know, everything all-around," Durham said. "Everybody gotta be better all-around to make sure our third quarters don't keep acting like that."
"All three games, our third quarter's been terrible. So you know, we gotta get better," he added.
Ginebra only outscored Meralco by one point in the third quarter of Game 1, 31-30, but the Bolts ran out of gas in the fourth period and lost, 91-87.
In Game 2, they led by as much as 19 points, but allowed the Gin Kings to get back in the game in the third frame. Ginebra outscored them, 30-19, in that frame, and Meralco just hung on for a 104-102 win.
The third frame again proved pivotal in Game 3 of the series, and Durham acknowledged that the Gin Kings simply came out with more energy than they did after the halftime break.
"They just wanted it more and it showed, you know, with the assist-turnover ratio, you know," he said.
"So, we really gotta dig down and get ready for Game 4 and really, really lock in on the third quarters," he added.
Durham takes some comfort in how they clawed back in the game in the fourth period. He led the Meralco onslaught, and eventually finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists.
"The fourth quarter showed the type of ball that we should be playing," he said. "So, everybody just gotta believe and have that confidence in themselves and I think we can still make this a good series."
Game 4 is on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
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