The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel got the series lead back in the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals by beating the Bay Area Dragons Wednesday, 89-82. The series has also seemingly reached a boiling point due to a controversial Game 3. Will Bay Area prevent falling down a 3-1 hole? Or, will the Barangay put themselves on the verge of capturing another title?
Catch this game live on Friday , January 6 at 5:45 pm, Manila time.
Bay Area Dragons (1-2)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Glen Yang
- SG: Kobey Lam
- SF: Songwei Zhu
- PF: Hayden Blankley
- C: Andrew Nicholson (questionable)
It could get tougher for the Dragons this Friday, as they might be without import Andrew Nicholson, who suffered a nasty ankle injury late in Game 3. Myles Powell isn’t expected to play in Game 4 even if Nicholson is ruled out. Nicholson is still not being listed out for Friday, but if he can’t go, Bay Area will likely start 7-5 Liu Chuanxing. The Dragons have a stellar cast of supporting players, who can step up and collectively fill the void of Nicholson.
Kobey Lam has been quite a weapon for the Dragons as well as Songwei Zhu, who gave the Barangay fits back in Game 2 when he posted 25 points. Zhu is a versatile 6-9 weapon who can attack the paint and bury 3-pointers. An absence by Nicholson will be a big blow to Bay Area, but beating Ginebra is not an impossible task for the Dragons – with or without their import. And we’ll see if Bay Area gets more calls favor its way after raising hell about it following Game 3’s collapse.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (2-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Scottie Thompson
- SG: Stanley Pringle
- SF: Jamie Malonzo
- PF: Justin Brownlee
- C: Japeth Aguilar
Hate them or love them, the Barangay delivered in Game 3. Ginebra dropped a mammoth 33-point performance in the fourth quarter to steal the win and regain momentum in the series. Justin Brownlee poured in 34 points in Game 3. So far in the series, he is averaging 31.3 points. As Ginebra’s main scoring threat, Brownlee could continue obliterating Bay Area’s defense, especially if Nicholson doesn’t suit up Friday.
Even if Nicholson plays, he’s not going to be at 100%, so he’ll be an easier tree to cut down for Christian Standhardinger and Japeth Aguilar. Offensive rebounding was a big part of Ginebra’s success in Game 3, collecting 19 to just eight by Bay Area. Of course, they went 24/38 from the foul line while Bay Area shot just 4/10. Brownlee has been nearly unguardable in the series, and Bay Area might not like it, but more free throws could be on the way for the naturalized Pinoy.
Spread: Bay Area (-1.5) covers the spread.
Over/Under: The total (189) hits the Over.