The Barangay Ginebra Kings put up a gallant stand and survived Jason Castro’s second half explosion to defeat the top-seeded Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, 100-93, in Game 5 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals yesterday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Although still down in the series, 2-3, the Kings now have the needed momentum going into Game 6 on Sunday, where they will try to extend the series into a winner-take-all affair.
With their back against the wall, Ginebra kept the game close in the first before building a sizable lead in the third quarter.
The first half saw the two teams figure in a low-scoring duel with the first two quarters ending with Ginebra holding a slim 39-38 lead.
The Kings started the third like a house on fire, firing nine unanswered points to take a 48-38 advantage.
Held scoreless in the first half, Castro sparked the Texters’ offense by scoring five points in a 9-2 run that shoved the Texters to within one, 57-58.
Scoring Talk ‘N Text’s next five points, Castro helped his team tie the score at 62. Ginebra closed the third with a 9-4 tear to take a 70-66 lead going into the fourth.
Castro remained unstoppable in the fourth, where he scored nine more points. But Ginebra never relinquished that lead behind its stingy defense down the stretch.
Nursing a precarious 95-90 lead, the Kings forced the Texters to commit two crucial errors inside the final two minutes. Mike Cortes sealed the win for Ginebra with a huge a triple in the final 1:13 that stretched the Kings’ lead to 98-90 with only 1:13 left.
Best import awardee Nate Brumfield atoned himself from a subpar performance in their 84-91 Game 4 loss by coming up with 26 points and 16 rebounds.