MANILA - Third time proved to be the charm for the Purefoods TJ Titans as they stunned the Meralco Bolts 3x3 to win the fourth leg of the PBA 3x3 Lakas ng Tatlo competition on Sunday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Behind a superb game from Pao Javelona, Purefoods outlasted Meralco, 21-16, to win a leg for the first time in the first conference of the PBA 3x3 event.
It was a much-awaited win for the TJ Titans, who made the semifinals in the first and third legs but fell short both times. They placed third in the first leg and fourth in the third before finally breaking through.
The TJ Titans will take home P100,000 while the Bolts settle for the second place and P50,000.
Purefoods' victory also denied Meralco a second leg win. The Bolts won Leg 2 and were looking to become the first team to repeat as champions.
It was a back-and-forth affair with Purefoods' Joseph Eriobu exchanging big shots with Meralco's Joseph Sedurifa. Ultimately, it was Javelona who took charge, drilling a deuce and a jumper to break the game's last tie and push the TJ Titans ahead, 18-15.
Antonio Bonsubre scored to make it 19-15, before Alfred Batino kept Meralco alive with a layup, 19-16.
With both Eriobu and Javelona covered, Bonsubre nailed the game-winning deuce as he was left wide open by the Bolts.
Completing the Purefoods team is Jed Mendoza.
Meanwhile, TNT Tropang GIGA finished third in Leg 4 after a come-from-behind 21-20 win against Platinum Karaoke.
TNT trailed 16-10 in the third place game before Almond Vosotros began to wax hot, sparking an 11-4 run to close out the game. His two-pointer tied the game at 7-1, and his teammates picked up the slack in the ensuing minutes.
Lervin Flores gave TNT the lead, 18-17, and Samboy de Leon made it a three-point game with a deuce. But Platinum Karaoke scored three quick points off a JR Alabanza layup and a Chris de Chavez twinner to tie the game at 20.
De Leon would not be denied, however, as he drove hard for the runner that secured the win for the Tropang GIGA.
TNT returned to the podium after placing ninth in Leg 3.
TNT 21 - Vosotros 12, De Leon 7, Flores 2, Gozum 0.
Platinum 20 - De Chavez 9, Monteclaro 8, Alabanza 3, Dehesa 0.
Purefoods 21 - Javelona 10, Eriobu 5, Mendoza 3, Bonsubre 3.
Meralco 16 - Gonzaga 5, Batino 5, Sedurifa 5, Maiquez 1.