The TNT Tropang Giga secured a crucial 104-95 victory over Barangay Ginebra in Game 5 of the PBA Governors’ Cup finals, taking a 3-2 lead in the race-to-four-games series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday, April 19.
The Tropang Giga now hold a 3-2 series lead in the best-of-seven series, putting them within touching distance of the championship title.
However, the game didn’t start off in TNT’s favor. Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee, Christian Standhardinger, and Nards Pinto led a second-quarter surge that gave them a 61-49 lead at halftime.
Brownlee, a six-time champion import, was playing his heart out until he was forced to exit the game late in the third quarter due to an injury. With Brownlee out of the game, TNT saw an opportunity to take control.
TNT’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson emerged as the game’s hero, putting up an impressive triple-double performance with 32 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists. Calvin Oftana was also a key contributor, recording 20 points, including four shots from beyond the arc, and eight rebounds. TNT had a total of five players scoring in double digits, showing their well-rounded attack.
Despite their impressive comeback, TNT still had to fight until the very end to secure the win. They were only up by one point, 96-95, with four minutes left in the game. But Jayson Castro, Poy Erram, and Hollis-Jefferson teamed up for a crucial 3-point shot that gave them a four-point lead and put the game out of reach for Ginebra.
While TNT now holds the upper hand, coach Jojo Lastimosa is not counting Ginebra out yet. He believes that Brownlee, known for his warrior spirit, will be back in action for Game 6 on Friday. Lastimosa is preparing his team for a tough fight, knowing that Ginebra will come out even stronger with Brownlee’s return.
TNT’s victory in Game 5 was made even more impressive by the fact that they had to come back from a 15-point deficit to take the lead. Their resilience and determination in the face of adversity were a testament to their character as a team.
The Tropang Giga has been on a roll, winning back-to-back games after losing the first two in the series. They will be looking to maintain their momentum and clinch the championship title in Game 6 on Friday. However, Ginebra, with their championship pedigree and the return of Brownlee, will be fighting tooth and nail to extend the series to a Game 7 on Sunday.
As the series heads into its final stretch, basketball fans can expect nothing less than a thrilling finish. Will TNT secure their first championship title in six years, or will Ginebra pull off a dramatic comeback and claim their third straight Governors’ Cup crown? Only time will tell.
TNT 104 – Hollis-Jefferson 32, Oftana 20, M.Williams 15, Khobuntin 10, Castro 10, Erram 10, K.Williams 5, Montalbo 2, Marcelo 0.
Ginebra 95 – Standhardinger 29, Pinto 18, Brownlee 14, Thompson 12, Gray 10, Malonzo 6, Pringle 6, J.Aguilar 0, Mariano 0.
Quarters: 28-26, 49-61, 81-79, 104-95.