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Ginebra withstands Bay Area's last gasp to take 3-2 Finals lead

Japeth Aguilar scores on a posterizer. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—Ginebra came up with huge plays down the stretch to keep Bay Area out of reach for a 101-91 win in Game 5 of the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals on Sunday night.

In front of the second-largest crowd for a PBA game at the SM Mall of Asia Arena—21,823 paying patrons to be exact—the Gin Kings pulled off a great escape as Stanley Pringle came alive in time.

Ginebra found itself in trouble of blowing a lead as high as 18 points early in the fourth quarter when Bay Area cut it down to five, 91-86, with 2:18 left.

However, Pringle put up back-to-back triples from the right corner area that sparked the game-deciding 10-2 run by the Gin Kings to preserve the victory.

Justin Brownlee led Ginebra, now 3-2 up in the best-of-seven series, with 37 points on 14-of-22 shooting, eight rebounds, two assists, three steals, and four blocks.

Pringle added 20 points on 6-for-9 shooting from three-point range, five rebounds, one assist, and one steals for Ginebra, which can close out the series in Game 6 on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Hayden Blankley led Bay Area, which now needs to win Game 6 to send the series to a deciding Game 7 on Friday night at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, with 29 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and two steals before falling down late with a foot injury.

Liu Chuanxing added 10 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, and one block off the bench.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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