Game 1 of the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals will finally take place this Sunday, on Christmas Day, at the Mall of Asia Area. Which team draws first blood?
Catch this game live on Sunday, December 25 at 5 pm, Manila time.
Bay Area Dragons (0-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Glen Yang
- SG: Kobey Lam
- SF: Songwei Zhu
- PF: Hayden Blankley
- C: Andrew Nicholson
The Dragons slayed a giant in the semis, as they prevented an all-SMC Finals by eliminating the San Miguel Beermen in four games. It was a tough series for Bay Area which got tested to the gills but still came away with the series win, thanks to consistent play on both ends of the floor. The Dragons averaged 102 points per game against San Miguel, with big man Andrew Nicholson unsurprisingly being the most dominant force on the side of the Dragons.
Nicholson felt like he was prime Shaq in the San Miguel series in which he averaged 35.0 points and 16.5 rebounds per game. He had 28 points and 12 boards in Bay Area’s 111-93 loss to the Barangay back in October. Glen Yang, Kobey Lam, and Hayden Blankley lead Bay Area’s supporting cast around Nicholson. Bay Area is well-coached and makes great mid-game adjustments most of the time, which was a huge reason why the Dragons were able to pull off wins against a San Miguel team that put Brian Goorjian on the ropes on a number of occasions in the semis.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (0-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Scottie Thompson
- SG: Stanley Pringle
- SF: Jamie Malonzo
- PF: Justin Brownlee
- C: Japeth Aguilar
Like Bay Area, the Barangay needed just four games to win their semifinal series against the Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots. Ginebra was simply too much for the Hotshots, and it’s saying a lot since Magnolia finished second in the standings during the elimination phase of the conference. The Barangay should match up better against Bay Area than either Magnolia or San Miguel. Unlike their eliminated sister teams, the Barangay don’t have an import who plays in the frontcourt.
Justin Brownlee is a wing-type player, who, together with Jamie Malonzo and Jeremiah Gray are solid weapons that can both neutralize and make pay on the offensive end Nicholson’s supporting cast. When Ginbra beat the Dragons, 111093, Browlee poured in 46 points. At the same time, the Barangay have Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger to throw at Nicholson. Then there’s Scottie Thompson, whose omnipresence on the floor will give Bay Area plenty of headaches.
Spread: Ginebra (+4) covers the spread.
Over/Under: The total (199.0) hits the Over.