Meralco def San Miguel, 93-89 [Finals Game 3 | PBA S48 PH Cup | June 9, 2024]

In a highly anticipated rematch between titleholder San Miguel and challenger Meralco, the stakes are higher than ever as they battle for a crucial 2-1 lead in the PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven title showdown at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

After a narrow defeat in Game One, the Bolts were on the cusp of taking a 2-0 series lead before letting it slip away. Now, they must regroup and refocus as they prepare for another intense showdown with the Beermen.

Coach Luigi Trillo’s Bolts managed to secure a tight 93-86 victory in Game One, only to see the Beermen snatch a 95-94 win in the closing moments of Game Two.

The Bolts’ 95-92 win in their previous encounter during the eliminations was also a close contest, indicating that neither team has been able to assert dominance so far in the series.

“We know it’s going to be grind-out games the whole series and we can’t just come out and expect they’re going to roll over,” said SMB wing man Marcio Lassiter.

“They’re a good team. That’s why they’re in the finals. They’re well-coached. Now we have to make adjustments, everything that we need to do (to beat Meralco). It’s going to be continuously tough games here on out since it’s tied, too,” he added.

As Game Three approaches, both teams are gearing up for another closely contested battle, with tip-off set for 6:15 p.m. The Bolts are taking solace in their narrow loss in Game Two, knowing they have the ability to compete with the defending champions.

While the Bolts initially showed promise in Game One, the Beermen made key adjustments in Game Two to neutralize their strengths. The Bolts’ ability to score in transition was a key factor in their Game One performance, but the Beermen’s adjustments limited their success in this area in the subsequent game.

With the series hanging in the balance, both teams are prepared for a hard-fought matchup as they vie for control of the series. The stage is set for another thrilling showdown between two of the PBA’s top teams.

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