By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel inched closer to the ultimate crown after taking down the Meralco Bolts, 115-110, during Game 5 of the 2022 PBA Governor’s Cup finals.
After establishing a double-digit lead with seven minutes left in the final canto, Ginebra looked to seize momentum and get away with a convincing Game 5 win but Meralco once again flipped the switch and mounted a fiery offensive run.
What was once a 96-82 lead with seven minutes left in the fourth was trimmed to just one, 98-97, courtesy of a waxing-hot Tony Bishop who sank three-straight treys to kick off their avalanche.
With the game up for grabs, Christian Standhardinger sank two straight perimeter jumpers to spark another Ginebra offensive run and extended their lead to five, 102-97, with 2:50 remaining in the game.
Newly-crowned Best Player of the Conference awardee Scottie Thompson then iced the game with three of the biggest plays of Ginebra’s crucial stretch.
First, Thompson skied for the offensive rebound against the taller Bishop, received a pass from LA Tenorio, and buried the clutch three-pointer that ballooned their lead to eight, 105-97, with only two minutes left in the game.
The 2022 Governor’s Cup Best Player of the Conference then sealed the win for Ginebra with a tremendous bounce pass to a cutting Tenorio, 109-101.
Justin Brownlee continued being a steady force for Ginebra after dropping 40 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists while Thompson added 19 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds.
Meanwhile, Meralco had one of their slowest starts of the finals and let a 2-1 series advantage slip away.
The team was led by Bishop who had an impressive shooting night of 30 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
Meralco will seek to equalize the series and force a game 7 against the rolling Ginebra who already won back-to-back games to grab a 3-2 finals lead.