TNT Tropang Giga Clinches PBA Governors' Cup Championship 2023
Game 5 of the PBA Governors’ Cup finals between TNT Tropang Giga and Barangay Ginebra was a highly anticipated match-up that lived up to its hype. The game was played before a crowd of over 10,000 fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, and both teams were determined to take control of the series.
The game started closely, with TNT taking a narrow 28-26 lead at the end of the first quarter. However, in the second quarter, Ginebra found its rhythm, led by Christian Standhardinger, Justin Brownlee, and Nards Pinto. They went on a 15-to-nothing run, taking control of the game with a 61-49 lead at halftime.
TNT, however, was not about to give up without a fight. They mounted a comeback in the third quarter, starting with a mighty 14-2 run led by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and his teammates, who showed their no-quit attitude. They pulled even at 63-all and raced ahead, 81-79, going to the final quarter.
The game took a crucial turn late in the third quarter when Brownlee, clearly injured, headed to the dugout with a towel over his head. Ginebra’s six-time champion import was limited to a little over 25 minutes of action, putting in 14 points on a 6-of-11 field clip. The Tropang Giga seized the opportunity and made the most of Brownlee’s early exit, clinching the crucial win on an 8-0 closing punch.
Hollis-Jefferson had a stellar performance, piling up triple-double numbers with 32 points, 16 rebounds, and ten assists. Oftana contributed 20 points, including four three-pointers, and four other TNT players contributed double-digit output. On the other hand, Standhardinger led Ginebra’s scoring with 29 points and seven rebounds, followed by Pinto with 18 points.
With back-to-back wins, coach Jojo Lastimosa and the TNT gang finally grabbed the series upper hand with a chance to win it in Game 6 on Friday or in Game 7, if necessary, on Sunday. However, Lastimosa remains cautious, expecting a tough fight from Ginebra, especially with Brownlee likely to return in the next game.
Overall, Game 5 was a thrilling and intense match-up showcasing both teams’ skills and tenacity. TNT’s victory creates an exciting Game 6 that could determine the series’ outcome. The PBA Governors’ Cup finals have lived up to the hype, and fans can’t wait to see how the rest of the series unfolds.