It was one of the classic final matches ever seen in the league.
But the biggest plays belonged to Paul Lee, his heroics at endgame lifting Magnolia to a 79-78 nail-biter and into the threshold of the PBA Governors Cup championship.
In his final act, Lee was in the right place at the right time to grab the loose ball, leading to his game-winning shot in the last 1.3 seconds as the Hotshots beat out the Alaska Aces in an epic match to grab the pivotal 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven title playoff.
The Aces could have salvaged the game, but Mike Harris flubbed a fade-away shot off Romeo Travis at the buzzer to the disappointment of their crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Action swings back to the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo on Wednesday where the Hotshots take their first of two cracks at wrapping up the series.
Game Five was a duel of runs that went down to an exciting helter-skelter finish won by the Hotshots on a series of clutch plays by Lee.
Magnolia 79 – Sangalang 20, Barroca 14, Jalalon 13, Lee 11, Travis 10, Herndon 6, Dela Rosa 4, Reavis 1, Melton 0, Brondial 0.
Alaska 78 – Harris 28, Racal 13, Enciso 13, Pascual 6, Exciminiano 5, Cruz 4, Banchero 3, Teng 2, Manuel 2, Casio 2, Baclao 0.
Quarterscores: 29-28, 53-40, 65-62, 79-78.