It is no surprise that the PBA Commissioner’s cup best of seven series between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the Bay City Dragons will go on to reach a maximum winner-take-all final game.
It was a close battle with the Dragons winning it on the free throw line and some horrid shooting from the Gin Kings in the closing minutes of the game. Bay City just barely crossed the line against the Kings, 87-84 to the dismay of 20,000 fans in the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.
The crowd was ready to celebrate. A win would have clinched the title for the Gin Kings and guaranteed a raucous reception from the crowd. But it wasn’t meant to be.
Brownlee had no support
The game plan seemed predictable. Get the ball to Justin Brownlee and watch him do his thing. He scored 37 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. It seemed like he was the only one willing the team to take it over the hump.
Aside from Brownlee, no one except Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger were in double figures. Each scored 12 points. Hardly enough to make up for a decent supporting role to Brownlees electric performance.
Power of Powell
It was night and day as far as the Dragon’s offensive output is concerned. They were reeling in game five without their top scorer Myles Powell and it showed that he’s a difference maker scoring a team high 29 points on limited minutes in game six.
He was everywhere. Shooting crucial three-point shots. Making buckets to cut the lead or to go ahead. The Dragons were in control of the game until the end of the first half. Leading 50-42 at the end of the second quarter.
They would increase that lead by as much as twelve points after a Kodey Lam three-pointer. The Gin Kings would then go on an 18-6 run to close the gap to two points 64-62 at the end of the third quarter with Brownlee turning the screws with 16 points of the 18 scored.
Ginebra had all the momentum going into the fourth quarter with Standhardinger and Aguilar combining to outscore the Dragons in the first three minutes of the game and lead by five — their first time to the lead in the entire game.
After that it went downhill from there as Aguilar made a bad pass that the Dragons converted and since then the Gins had trouble making shots. Best player of the game, Bay City star Myles Powell — who didn’t seem to be nursing an injured ankle — made some crucial plays and put the game on ice when he made free throws and an important rebound in the dying moments.
Japet Aguilar missed a desperate three-point attempt at the death for the Gin KIngs.
“Just get out there with my brothers with a will to win. I know what we had to do. I know what I mean to the team,” Powell said when asked about his performance after the game.
Game seven will be played on January 15, Sunday at 5:45PM at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Cross your fingers that 50,000 Barangay Ginebra fans will go home happy this weekend.