SAME nerve-wracking situation in the finale, same result for Barangay Ginebra.
Duplicating their gutsy performance in winning last week’s Leg 1, the Gin Kings eked out a 19-17 overtime thriller over Meralco to annex the PBA 3×3 Season 3 Leg 2 honors yesterday at the Ayala Malls Circuit.
Donald Gumaru first forced a 17-17 stalemate after 10 minutes with a last-gasp reverse layup then Ralph Cu sealed the deal in extra time with a booming two-pointer.
Mr. Cu (six points, five rebounds and four assists), Mr. Gumaru (two points), Ralph Salcedo (three points) and Kim Aurin (eight points) delivered Ginebra’s first back-to-back leg wins and third overall counting their Season 2 Third Conference Leg 3 triumph.
It was a display of the famous Ginebra never-say-die mantra as Mr. Cu and Company worked their way out of a 6-10 deficit early and a 16-17 disadvantage in the last three seconds of regulation.
Not wasting time after Alfred Batino’s go-ahead for Meralco, Mr. Gumaru quickly drove to the basket and drilled in the equalizer. After firing the clinching deuce a week ago, Mr. Gumaru played facilitator this time to Mr. Cu, who dutifully took care of business.
Ginebra, which booked a second straight championship stint with a 22-17 victory over semifinal foe Blackwater, banked P100,000.
Mr. Batino and Bolts teammates Joseph Sedurifa, Jeff Manday and Bryan Santos, who nosed out Cavitex in the semis, 21-18, settled for the P50,000 runners-up prize.
Cavitex’ Tonino Gonzaga, Ken Ighalo, Jorey Napoles and Dominick Fajardo, meanwhile, got another podium finish worth P30,000 after beating Blackwater’s Rey Publico, Nico Salva, Dariel Bayla and Patrick Jamison for third, 19-15. — Olmin Leyba