Hugnatan hits The Dagger

Game 3 was a treat  to the PBA’s fans where it opened up with a scoring exchange from each teams’ import. Meralco’s Durham and GSM’s Brownlee both scored 20 each in the opening quarter. Durham points were made during the flow of offense but Brownlee had to make hard, challenged shots.
The game was action packed as both teams made runs of their own, there was a certain play where Jonathan Uyloan was called for a flagrant foul on Scottie Thompson, replays show that the GSM Rookie sold the call making a little flop so officials can notice. In the 3rd quarter we saw the return of Chris Ellis to the surprise of many as he was sidelined for games 1 and 2 due to a groin injury. He did provide instant offense as he started with a quick basket plus the foul. It seems that Tim Cone’s gamble on Ellis would pay off as Ginebra was getting a momentum shift but after a series of fast baskets from the Gin Kings, Meralco came back strong finishing the 3rd quarter with a three point shot from Alapag, followed  by a Newsome dunk as LA Tenorio beats the 3rd quarter buzzer and hits a runner. In the final quarter it was the Bolts three point shooting that carried the load for Meralco as Ginebra stayed with them with tenacious offensive rebounds and follow ups. But when you think the Gins Kings would make a comeback Jimmy Alapag hits clutch 3 point baskets one after the other as they extend their lead going in the final minutes of play. Reynel Hugnatan would provide a dagger 3 point with only 42.2 seconds left, although Justin Brownlee hits a 3 pointer from Steph Curry range to keep GSM’s hopes alive it would not be enough as Meralco takes Game 3 and a 2-1 series lead in the Finals.
The Bolts are just 2 wins away from their first ever PBA title, Ginebra hopes to bounce back as each team seems to win right after the other, it is crucial for them to recover and not fall 3 games to one as many would know the odds are not in favor to teams down 3-1. They must solve Meralco’s 3 point shooting and not let their defines be caught napping at open shooters.
While the Bolts prepares to build on this momentum and tries to secure a commanding lead come Game 4 .
This series has all the ingredients to be a classic.

Photo by Aldrin Alejo

Tim Cone says Jimmy Alapag is the ‘X-Factor’ of the series

People thought that Meralco Bolts’ hulking import Allen Durnham is the most important man for the Manny Pangilinan-owned franchise.

For the most winningest coach of PBA, Tim Cone, it is no other than Jimmy “The Mighty Mouse” Alapag.

“I think the real X-Factor is Jimmy Alapag. I don’t think it’s secret, but the level of play and how far the level of play [of Meralco] got elevated when he came out of retirement,” Cone said.

Alapag formally announced his retirement on January 9, 2015, before serving as a Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach and a team manager of Talk N’ Text team.

Few months after leaving the his #3 jersey hanging as a Talk N’ Text veteran guard, he came out of retirement and signed with the Meralco Bolts for a two-year deal worth P10.08 million.

And now, the Mghty Mouse still has the skills of being one of the dangerous point guard in the Philippine league.

Cone added that Alapag’s leadership and experience on winning games is what made him the “X-factor” of the Best-of-Seven series of the PBA Governor’s Cup Finals against Barangay Ginebra Kings.

“He knows how to win. He’s won on all levels and he knows how to teach the young players. He’s gonna get them going.” Cone said.