Ginebra downs Bay Area, nears another PBA title
MANILA, Philippines— Not letting another chance slip its grasp, Barangay Ginebra picked Bay Area apart on Game 5 Sunday night, pocketing a 101-91 victory to take control of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship series, three games to two.
Resident import Justin Brownlee had 37 points and eight rebounds while Stanley Pringle 20 to get back at the visiting Dragons, who missed their high-scoring import Andrew Nicholson for a second-straight game.
“We had to keep earning it, earning it,” said Tim Cone, whose charges—before 21,823 screaming souls at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City—moved to the doorstep of another title.
“We just had a better feel for what we wanted to do tonight and I think we executed that for the most part,” the seasoned coach went on.
Japeth Aguilar pumped in 12 points, joining hands with Pringle who came off the bench and logged his second-most output in the midseason showcase. Together, they helped Barangay Ginebra to leads as big as 18 points and doused the enemy’s fightback under a minute left in the game.
As Nicholson continued to nurse his left ankle and skipper Glen Yang dealt with a similar problem, Bay Area instead turned to Hayden Blankley who finished with 29 points.
Zheng Qilong chipped in 15 points in the scoring effort, while Liu Chuanxing 10. But with Game 4 hero Kobey Lam held to just 16, Bay Area could only pull within five, 91-86, in the final frame.
Barangay Ginebra, shooting for its 15th PBA crown overall, could put the series to bed this Wednesday at the fabled Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.