PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Pringle turns back clock as Ginebra pushes Bay Area to brink in PBA finals

JR Isaga
Pringle turns back clock as Ginebra pushes Bay Area to brink in PBA finals

VINTAGE. Ginebra star Stanley Pringle attempts a short jumper over the Bay Area defense at the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals

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Stanley Pringle erupts for 8 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as Justin Brownlee leads the way as usual with 37 markers in Ginebra's pivotal Game 5 finals win over undermanned Bay Area

MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra quickly found its bearings back in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals after denying a late Bay Area Dragons comeback, 101-91, to move one win away from its fourth title in six conferences.

Three-time Best Import Justin Brownlee went wild with 37 points on 14-of-22 shooting, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 steals, and 2 assists, while Stanley Pringle turned back the clock with 20 points – 8 in the fourth quarter alone – with 6 triples to put the finishing touches late in the game.

After Bay Area erased an early 11-point deficit, 9-20, in the first quarter, Ginebra got its bearings back in the second, and pushed back the lead to 14, 54-40, off a pair of Japeth Aguilar free throws, before Songwei Zhu drilled a last-second triple to get back within single digits, 43-54, at intermission.

Although league MVP Scottie Thompson pushed Ginebra to an 18-point lead, 87-69, off an and-one conversion with 8:16 left in the final frame, Bay Area still conjured up a 17-5 comeback attempt to get within 5, 86-91, after two Hayden Blankley free throws with 2:18 left.

Pringle, however, had other plans, and immediately destroyed the Dragons’ hopes with two straight booming triples for the 97-86 gap with 92 ticks left in regulation that practically sealed the deal.

Already playing without imports Andrew Nicholson and Myles Powell, the Dragons then lost their floor general Glen Yang at tip off to a right ankle injury in Game 4 that ultimately spelled doom for their Game 5 morale.

Blankley got hot in the loss as he dropped 29 points on 11-of-20 shooting and 5-of-11 from three before going down with his own injury in the game’s final seconds, while Kobey Lam followed up his 30-point bomb with 16 – all coming in the second half – on a 5-of-14 clip.

The series heads back to the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, January 11, 5:45 pm, as the Gin Kings attempt to finish off their foes in Game 6.

The Scores

Ginebra 101 – Brownlee 37, Pringle 20, J.Aguilar 12, Tenorio 8, Malonzo 7, Thompson 7, Standhardinger 5, Pinto 3, Gray 2, Mariano 0.

Bay Area 91 – Blankley 29, Lam 16, Zheng 15, Liu 10, Ewing 9, Song 5, Reid 2, Ju 2. 
Quarters: 23-24, 54-43, 76-62, 101-91.

– Rappler.com

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