|Romeo Travis, playing on one good hamstring, towed Magnolia to a Finals appearance in Antipolo. Franchesca Nicole Collantes/Dugout Philippines|
By Ricky Manliguis
ANTIPOLO-- Bad hamstring and all, but Romeo Travis still saved the day.
Travis delivered another career ballgame as Magnolia notched a finals berth with a 112-108 win over Barangay Ginebra in Game 4 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup Friday night at the Ynares Center.
Despite playing with a Grade 2 hamstring strain, Travis scored 21 of his new career-best 50 points in the fourth period as the Pambansang Manok foiled Ginebra's three-peat bid in the season-ending conference with a 3-1 series win.
Ginebra even took a 106-101 lead courtesy of Justine Brownlee's free throws with 1:44 remaining in the game. But Travis then scored five points in a 9-0 salvo highlighted by a three-point play off a Joe Devance foul for a 110-106 lead, time down to 44.1 seconds.
Travis also had 13 rebounds, three steals, and two assists in almost 42 minutes of action. Ian Sangalang chipped in 14 markers with six boards and six assists, while Paul Lee played through a sore knee for 11.
“To my players, credit sa kanila lahat. We were down with injuries. We didn’t know if Romeo and Paul (Lee) can play today until this morning na na-clear sila. Kahapon hindi namin alam ‘yung gagawin namin. I give credit to them because they stood together,” said coach Chito Victolero.
Victolero later gave his praise to Ginebra and coach Tim Cone for a hard-fought series.
"They (Ginebra) gave us a very, very good fight. Hindi ko na alam kung ilang araw na kami halos hindi natutulog. I don’t know if we can beat Ginebra because of the experience, talent, coach," Victolero said.
Brownlee led Ginebra, which saw its three-peat bis spoiled, with 32 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Japeth Aguilar had 25 and and 14 boards, while LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson each cashed in 12.
Magnolia will now await the winner in the other semifinal series pitting Meralco and Alaska, with the Aces holding a 2-1 lead heading into Game 4 tomorrow.
Magnolia 112-- Travis 50, Sangalang 14, Lee 11, Jalalon 9, Herndon 8, Barroca 8, Simon 6, Dela Rosa 4, Reavis 2, Melton 0, Brondial 0.
Barangay Ginebra 108-- Brownlee 32, Aguilar 25, Tenorio 12, Thompson 12, Devance 11, Slaughter 7, Mercado 5, Chan 2, Mariano 2, Ferrer 0.
Quarterscores: 20-27, 51-53, 81-79, 112-108.