Showing a glimpse of the offensive arsenal that he became known for in college, Pasaol scored 11 points and hit 4-of-7 from the field including two triples to help Meralco beat Ginebra, 106-104, and oust its longtime nemesis from the title race.
The efficient performance came as a huge follow-up for the former University of the East standout's 14-point showing on 5-of-7 shooting in the Game Two to Ginebra.
Pasaol, who once scored 49 points while playing for the Red Warriors in the UAAP, said he always had the mentality to stay ready at all times for Meralco, even as he languished mostly on the bench as he battled weight issues.
“Hindi naman natin alam kung sino ang bad game. Mahaba ‘yung series namin, best-of-three. May mga players kami na napapagod. Pero stay ready lang ako kung ipapasok ako o hindi. Nakatulong ako sa team namin,” said Pasaol.
Pasaol said it was a huge boost to his confidence when he was given the opportunity in Game Two on Friday, which carried on into the important Sunday clash.
“Galing kay coach Luigi [Trillo] ‘yun sa kumpiyansa na binigay niya na nagtiwala siya sa akin. I give back sa kanila ‘yung tiwala na binigay sa amin,” said Pasaol.
Though only in his second season with the team, the Meralco first-round pick said he knows the magnitude of the victory even though he wasn’t able to experience most of the heartbreaks the team suffered at the hands of Ginebra.
“Happy ako para sa teammates ko at sa company. Lumaban kami sa Ginebra,” said Pasaol, who was with the team during last season’s Governors’ Cup finals loss to the league's most popular team.
Asked if the Pasaol of old will carry over in the semifinals against San Miguel, Pasaol said he surely hopes so.
“Siyempre, ‘yung effort ko ngayon, gagandahan ko pa sa semis. Other stepping stone na naman na nakapasok kami sa semifinals,” Pasaol said.
“Baka siguro,” said Pasaol, when asked if he can replicate his UE days with the Bolts. “Tiyaga lang din at sipag. Papasok at papasok din."