TNT conquers Ginebra in Game 5 without Brownlee in 2nd half


RONDAE HOLLIS-JEFFERSON and the rest of the TNT Tropang Giga are now one win away from winning the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup crown.

TNT took advantage of Justin Brownlee’s absence in the second half, turning around a 15-point deficit before the halftime break to claim Game 5 of their best-of-seven finals series with a 104-95 win on Wednesday over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel for a 3-2 series lead at the Araneta Coliseum.

Hollis-Jefferson registered a triple-double of 32 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists plus two steals to lead TNT, while his counterpart Brownlee exited with a few minutes left in the third quarter and didn’t return due to food poisoning.

He still finished with 14 points in 25 minutes of action in the first half.

TNT was so frustrated in the early going of the game, falling into a 39-54 deep hole prior to the halftime break. But the Tropang Giga responded in the third quarter with a 32-18 run and 23-16 attack in the fourth period to turn the tide in their favor.

“They [Ginebra] actually outplayed us in the first half,” TNT coach Jojo Lastimosa said. “I told them if we want to get back to this game, we have to have a little bit more effort. I think in the third quarter, the guys started defending well, executing well and doing what we do best.”

Calvin Oftana fired 20 points and eight rebounds, while Mikey Williams had 15 points, Jayson Castro added 10 points and six assists, and JP Erram made 10 points plus seven rebounds for TNT.     

Lastimosa expects Brownlee to comeback big in Game 6 and he’s bracing for a tough battle against the Gin Kings   

Christian Standhardinger led Ginebra with 29 points and 13 rebounds while Nards Pinto added 18 points for the Gin Kings, who are hoping on Friday to forge a do-or-die Game 7 on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.     

 TNT out-rebounded Ginebra, 57-40. 

Ginebra and Brownlee had never experienced being 2-3 down in the championships series.   

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