THIS time it’s Ralph Cu’s turn to be the hero for Barangay Ginebra.
Cu nailed the game-winning deuce against the Meralco Bolts in overtime, 19-17, as the Kings won a second straight leg title in the PBA 3×3 Season 3 First Conference Tuesday at the Ayala Mall Circuit.
The victory worth P100,000, was reminiscent of the team’s dramatic overtime win over San Miguel in last week’s opening leg, with Donald Gumaru scoring the dagger basket against the Beermen.
Ironically, Gumaru was responsible for sending the finals against the Bolts in the extra period when he made a driving layup that barely beat the buzzer, 17-17.
Kim Aurin led the Kings with eight points, while Cu added six to help Ginebra win back-to-back leg championships for the first time.
Ralph Salcedo and Donald Gumaru finished with three and two points, respectively, to round out the scoring for the Kings.
The loss was a sorry one for the Bolts, who were in control for the most part and led 10-7 halfway through the title game.
Alfred Batino, who finished with a team-high six points, gave Meralco its last taste of the lead, 17-16, with 17 seconds to play before Gumaru answered back for the tying basket.
The Bolts pocketed the P50,000 runner-up purse.
On the way to the finals, Meralco downed Cavitex, 21-18, while Ginebra won over Blackwater, 22-17.
Cavitex notched a second straight third-place finish this conference behind a 19-15 win over Blackwater.
Tonino Gonzaga finished with seven points and five rebounds for the Braves, who secured another P30,000 prize money after a similar podium finish in last week’s opening leg.
Results of the quarterfinals earlier had Meralco edging out Wilcon Depot in a low-scoring match (14-13), Ginebra ousting Purefoods (17-13), Cavitex defeating San Miguel, 19-17, and Blackwater whipping Pioneer Elastoseal (22-13).
Cavitex (19) – Gonzaga 7, Ighalo 5, Napoles 4, Fajardo 3.
Blackwater (15) – Publico 8, Salva 3, Bayla 2, Jamison 2.
Ginebra (19) – Aurin 8, Cu 6, Salcedo 3, Gumaru 2.
Meralco (17) – Batino 6, Sedurifa 5, Manday 4, Santos 2.