After losing the second game, the defending champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel quickly bounced back as they defeated the TNT Tropang Giga to lead the series 2-1 in the finals of the PBA Governors' Cup.
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the TNT Tropang Giga went head-to-head in the first two quarters of the match. In fact, until the start of the third quarter, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and TNT Tropang Giga had a tie ballgame at 88-apiece.
However, Justin Brownlee's three-point field goal sparked the run for Ginebra as they took home the victory, 117-103.
PBA Recap: Ginebra leads the series 2-1 vs TNT
Justin Brownlee led Barangay Ginebra San Miguel's offense and defense with 29 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, while Jamie Malonzo had a double-double of 27 points and ten rebounds.
Stanley Pringle, who took the spot Barangay Ginebra San Miguel captain LA Tenorio left due to his cancer diagnosis, added 22 points, while Scottie Thompson also had a double-double performance of 16 points, ten assists, and five rebounds.
Christian Hardinger also had a double-double night of 16 points, ten rebounds, and five assists.
For the side of the TNT Tropang Giga, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had another spectacular night with a double-double performance of 32 points, ten rebounds, and six assists, while Michael Williams contributed 19 points.
John Paul Erram almost had a double-double performance of 14 points and nine rebounds, while William Jayson Castro added 14 points off the bench. Roger Pogoy had 13 points and six rebounds.
With the win, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel led the series at 2-1 in the best-of-seven PBA Governors' Cup finals.
PBA Recap: Tim Cone's Recipe For Success in the Finals
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel head coach Tim Cone and import Justin Brownlee agreed that whoever shoots the ball fine will win the best-of-seven finals series.
"Sounds like that's the recipe for success in this series – who shoots the ball well," coach Tim Cone, the winningest coach in PBA history, said after they took a commanding 2-1 lead.
For Justin Brownlee, they can shoot the ball with prolific scorers in Scottie Thompson and Stanley Pringle.
"Hopefully, we can come out aggressive, set the tone and get away with the win. It will be big for us being just a couple of days off after that game," he said.
However, the unsung hero of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel's Game 3 victory was Stanley Pringle, who took the mantle of team captain LA Tenorio while recovering from cancer.
In the past games of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Stanley usually came off the bench since he was still recovering from an injury.
"We've kind of gotten desperate and started him, and he responded incredibly well," coach Tim Cone said.
"It was about 30 times in the game where I said to myself, do I need to take Stanley out? He comes off the bench for a purpose, not because we have a better player than him that starts, but he comes off the bench so we can keep his minutes short."
For Stanley, having been given a chance to start in the deep Barangay Ginebra San Miguel lineup was something he would cherish.
"I felt really good. I'm on this great team. All my teammates are great players. Whenever I get a chance to come out and get some shots, it's not always like that," the first pick of the 2014 PBA Draft said.
"When I do, it means a lot. They've been supporting me the whole time I've been injured. So whatever I can do to help them, I'm going to try and do it.
"Coach wanted me to go out and probably be aggressive. That's why he started me. I was just locked in and thinking about spacing the floor and being ready to hit that open shot. In Game 2, we shot pretty poorly. I was just focused on hitting the shot. And the shots fell."
PBA Recap: Jojo Lasmimosa Admits Stanley Pringle Start Surprises Them
For the first time this conference, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel head coach Tim Cone surprised everyone when Stanley Pringle started in Game 3 of the PBA Governors' Cup Finals. But, admittedly, TNT Tropang Giga head coach Jojo Lastimosa said the move also surprised them.
"Hats off and credit again to Tim (Cone) for putting Pringle in the starting lineup and getting him going early, and he never let up. He didn't miss. That was the key," said Jojo Lastimosa after his team absorbed a defeat.
"That's the story of the game. If you want to look at the three-point shooting, whoever wins in the three-point shooting percentage, wins the game."
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel dished out 18 three-point shots in 32 attempts, much more efficient than TNT Tropang Giga's 11 three-point field goals in 29 attempts.
"Even for us, we scored well, but they scored better," the PBA Legend-turned-coach said.
Aside from the surprise move of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel head coach Tim Cone, TNT Tropang Giga head coach Jojo Lastimosa also laments the "missing" Calvin Oftana. In the first two games, Calvin averaged 15 points and 9.5 rebounds.
But, unfortunately, in Game 3, he only had three rebounds.
"We need to find Calvin. He needs to bounce back," the rookie coach said.
Coming into Game 4, coach Jojo Lastimosa wanted his team to better defend the three-point shooters of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
"Let's see what happens [in Game 4]. We need to do a better job defending their three-point shooters. We need to take on their shooters, especially if they started hot," he ended.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven PBA Governors' Cup finals will happen on Sunday, April 16, while Game 5 will be played on Wednesday, April 19.