first_imgWhile harping on just how much of a difference-maker Stanley Pringle was on Sunday night, Tim Cone also pointed out how damaging Raymond Almazan’s absence was for Meralco.“Huge, huge, huge,” Cone swiftly answered when asked about how big a factor Almazan’s early exit in Game 3 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals was for the Gin Kings, who won, 92-84, for a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.“We talked about it at halftime. I said that ‘this is the time for Japeth (Aguilar) and Greg (Slaughter),’—that they can really make a lot of of forays into the paint and get some seals with Raymond out,” Cone said.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It was a big difference. I mean, it was what, a one-point game at the half? Then we got up by 20 and ended up beating them? Obviously he’s a presence. Or, his lack of presence was really felt,” said Cone of Almazan.Meralco coach Norman Black said such a loss, without a doubt, took the wind out of his squad.“It seemed to affect them [in a good way] going to the third quarter. Ginebra did a good job of jumping on top of us immediately, taking advantage of it, and taking control of the game,” Black said.The lanky big man remains day-to-day as the Bolts await the official reading of Almazan’s MRI test, Black and team manager Paolo Trillo told the Inquirer in separate messages.“He’s been playing great. Anytime you lose a player the caliber of Raymond, it’s definitely going to hurt your team,” Meralco import Allen Durham said. INQADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pagasa sees cloudy skies, scattered rain showers in volcanic eruption-hit areas Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers flee Almazan hurt his left knee after an awkward landing that also hit Ginebra’s LA Tenorio. He had to leave six minutes into the game to undergo an MRI test at Makati Medical Center.The Kings and the Bolts were neck-and-neck in the first half, before Ginebra pulled away with leads of as many as 23 in the third period—a testament to just how vulnerable Meralco’s interior had become without one of its best defensive men.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4Aguilar reprised his solid performances in the first two games, scoring 23 points that went with seven blocks—Meralco had a grand total of two swats as a team.Pringle also made his presence felt. Without the usual resistance in the paint, Ginebra’s dynamo had his way inside, pouring 17 of his total 21 points in the third, helping push the Kings out of reach. ‘People evacuated on their own’ No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist US stocks climb ahead of trade deal, sending S&P 500 to record highcenter_img MOST READ Air quality in NCR now improving after Taal ashfall LATEST STORIES More than 40 quakes hound areas reeling from Taal Volcano’s eruption ‘People evacuated on their own’ Ceres battles Shan in knockout first round Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas PLAY LIST 01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown01:54MMDA deploys rescue team to Batangas following Taal eruption View commentslast_img read more