Barangay Ginebra is one game away from possibly retaining the PBA Governors’ Cup title.
The Gin Kings snagged the series lead against Meralco, 85-74, in Game 5 of their best-of-seven matchup on Sunday evening at the Philippine Arena.
The Bolts now stare at a 2-3 deficit in the Finals.
Greg Slaughter racked up 17 points, 16 rebounds, and six blocks for Ginebra. Import Justin Brownlee and LA Tenorio also added 20 and 17 markers, respectively.
Ginebra looked hungry to start the ball game, opening the contest with a 12-6 spurt on the way to touting a 21-15 advantage going into the second frame.
Despite conceding a 23-2 run to trail by as much as 33-15 in the second quarter, Meralco was able to chip away at the Ginebra lead to make it 42-35 before the halftime interval.
The Bolts continued to battle back in the third frame, before finally grabbing a 60-58 lead through a Allen Durham bucket at the 3:06 mark.
But Ginebra managed to enter the final frame with a 66-62 advantage over their opponents.
It was all Ginebra in the payoff period, keeping the Bolts from stealing back the lead as they held on to take a big step in retaining their title.
Meralco import Allen Durham posted a game-high 27 markers in a losing effort.
For Ginebra, it was all about getting back to their identity that brought them to the finals and won them the first two games in the series.
“We didn’t just battle, we went to war today because we knew how important this game is,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.
Game 6 will be played at the same venue on Wednesday evening.
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