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TNT banks on strong 2nd half, Justin Brownlee absence to take 3-2 Finals lead vs. Ginebra

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played superb anew for TNT. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—TNT came alive in the second half especially when Justin Brownlee left the Smart Araneta Coliseum hardwood and tripped Ginebra, 104-95, in Game 5 of the PBA Governors' Cup Finals on Wednesday night.

Behind the brilliance of import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the Tropang Giga went on a 32-18 third quarter to take an 81-79 lead.

The Gin Kings, despite losing Brownlee after he had to return to the dugout as he felt the effects of food poisoning, put up a gallant stand midway in the fourth quarter, but Hollis-Jefferson found Poy Erram open for the layup and stole the ball from Christian Standhardinger for the breakaway layup, sparking the game-deciding 8-0 run that brought the lead up to nine, 104-95, with 1:33 left.

Hollis-Jefferson led TNT, which is now up, 3-2, in the best-of-seven series, with a triple-double of 32 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists with two steals and one block, while Calvin Oftana added 20 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

The team can clinch the series in Game 6 on Friday night back at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Christian Standhardinger led Ginebra, now on the brink of elimination, with 29 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, one block, and one steal.

Brownlee had a solid first half, tallying 14 points, four rebounds, one steal, and one block before leaving the court late in the third quarter.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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