Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel was looking to bounce back from a Game 1 loss at the hands of defending champion San Miguel Beermen and things seemed headed that way after the Gin Kings erected a 15-point lead in the first half.
The Beermen, however, wouldn’t go down without a fight. Down by 13 during the break, the league’s winning-est ball club outscored the Gin Kings 28-18 in the 3rd canto to cut the deficit to only 3 entering the final period.
It was a nip and tuck affair from thereon with Brgy. Ginebra still maintaining the lead until disaster struck in the closing seconds of the game.
Veteran forward Joe Devance was tasked to inbound the ball with the score tied at 102 and time down to 15.8 seconds. The 36-year old Fil-Am found no takers and was eventually called for a 5-second inbound violation.
The turnover, which happened right in front of the team’s bench and after coming off a time-out, proved too costly as it resulted in a Marcio Lassiter putback on the other end to give the Beermen a 2-0 edge in the best-of-seven semifinals series.
“Yeah, it was a crucial part of the game, but that’s the breaks of the game. I have the next play mentality and we could have gotten the stop to tie it,” said Devance during the post-game interview.
Despite the game-deciding error, Devance was more concerned on his overall performance.
“If anything, I was more mad at the little lay-ups I missed and the stuff like that that could’ve avoided us from being in that position,” he added.
Game 3 of the series is scheduled on Tuesday, March 13, 7:00pm at the MOA Arena.