The Bay Area Dragons were not going to let the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel get away with a 2-0 series lead in the PBA Commissioners’ Cup Finals, as they tied the series up with a 99-82 win in Game 2. With the holiday break over, both teams will see each other again this Wednesday for Game 3. Will Ginebra recapture the series lead? Or, will Bay Area go back to back?
Catch this game live on Wednesday, January 4 at 5:45 pm, Manila time.
Bay Area Dragons (1-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Glen Yang
- SG: Kobey Lam
- SF: Songwei Zhu
- PF: Hayden Blankley
- C: Andrew Nicholson
Bay Area did not make it easy for the Barangay in Game 2, as the Dragons unleashed a defense that suffocated Ginebra. The Barangay shot just 38 FG% in Game 2, a sharp drop from their 50 FG% shooting in the series opener. And unlike in Game 1, Bay Area provided more support for Andrew Nicholson, who finished with 30 points in the victory.
Songwei Zhu scored 25 points to be the Dragons’ top local scorer. Zhu looks like the x-factor for Bay Area, as he has the height and mobility to create matchup problems for Ginebra. The Barangay have Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger primarily assigned to Nicholson, leaving Zhu with smaller defenders. Bay Area complaining about the officiating in Game 1 appeared to have worked too, as the Dragons got five more shots from the free-throw line compared to their output in Game 1.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (1-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Scottie Thompson
- SG: Stanley Pringle
- SF: Jamie Malonzo
- PF: Justin Brownlee
- C: Japeth Aguilar
It’s now Tim Cone’s turn to answer the puzzle thrown at him by the Dragons. He’s seen it all in his legendary coaching career, though, so Ginebra fans can be confident that the head coach has an answer. Missing for Ginebra in Game 2 was the ample scoring from the locals that the team relished in Game 1. Justin Brownlee had 32 points on 12/28 shooting in the loss to Bay Area but no other Ginebra player scored more than 10 points.
Even the do-it-all Scottie Thompson was put in check, as he finished with only nine points, three rebounds, two assists, and three turnovers. A week of rest could just be enough for Thompson and the Barangay to get their moxie back for a big payback this Wednesday. Brownlee has been the one constant for Ginebra in this series and he is expected to continue being a thorn in the side of the Dragons, who have yet to solve the Barangay star.
Spread: Bay Area (-2) covers the spread.
Over/Under: The total (190.5) hits the Under.