Finals Game 3: SLR 107, PF 118

On: 21 February 2008

Sta. Lucia Realtors lost Game 3 to the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants, 118-107, on a superb shooting from PF back-up point-guard Peter June Simon, losing the battle for the boards (50 to 39) and the one-sided calls from the refs. The Realtors still leads the series 2-1 in the Smart PBA Philippines Cup and hope to bounce back from the loss in their next meeting on Friday, 22 February 2008.

Simon provided the brilliant back-up off the bench with 26 points -- 12 in the third quarter -- and Giants' Kerby Raymundo managed to finish the game with 26 points and eight rebounds despite committing his fifth foul with still 5:02 left in the third period.

Despite the output of Simon, the Realtors could still have emerged victorious if not for the 77 fouls called by the referees, compared to 60 in Game 1 and 66 in Game 2. The fouls came from everywhere that it put the fight from the Realtors's Kelly Williams early in the first quarter. Williams eventually finished with only 10 points, on a 2-0f12 shooting from the floor. This by far was Williams' lowest output in his last 27 games, or since the Realtors' game last 07 November 2007.

Joseph Yeo came off the bench to lead Sta. Lucia's offense with 22 points, but foul trouble on the Realtors’ key players – Denis Miranda, Dennis Espino, Ryan Reyes, Dennis Daa, Christian Coronel and Nelbert Omolon – spoiled his remarkable effort and stymied the team's quest for a commanding 3-0 lead.

However, unlike his PF counterpart who keep on blaming the refs in their last two games where they lost, SLR coach Boyet Fernandez took everything in stride and did not whine in the media for the poor officiating. He even acknowledge PFs win and praised his team for their gallant efforts despite the odds.

"Purefoods won the game and I congratulate them. We'll heal our wounds and try to come back the next game," said Fernandez. "I don't want to discuss the officiating, marami nang galit sa akin."

Gregorio also thought they did a good job on both ends of the court as they were able to limit Williams output, but Fernandez had other reason for this.

"I don't think he would be limited if only... Never mind," said Fernandez.

Espino finished with 20 points and Miranda added 17 for the Realtors, who missed 15 free throws and went just 2-of-12 from the 3-point range.

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