There is definitely no lack of excitement and drama in the PBA Commissioner’s cup final between the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the Bay Area Dragons.
The Dragon’s tied the series at two games a piece with a riveting 94-86 comeback win against the Gin Kings Friday night at the MOA Arena.
Dragons without their top scorer
It must have been a relief for the largely pro-Barangay crowd at the arena to find out that the Dragon’s top scorer Andrew Nicholson was unavailable due to a left ankle injury.
Their optimism appeared to have been shared by the Barangay team as they went on to dominate the Dragons in the first half. After a closely contested first quarter, the Gin Kings went on an 11-0 run in the second that saw them lead the Dragons 35-24 with five minutes left in the quarter.
The teams seem to answer each other game to game as a similar fight back in game three happened here with the Dragon’s this time returning the favor.
Come back of their own
After trailing 38-46 at the half, the Dragons came back behind some torrid 3-point shooting from Kobey Lam who led all scorers with 30 points. He was 8 for 14 from beyond the arc and practically played like an import carrying the team on his shoulders without their top scorer.
The Dragons outscored the Kings by 16 points in the second half. Scoring 56 points in the last two quarters after being held to 38 points in the first half.
The Gin Kings were led by top import contender Justin Brownlee’s triple double. He had 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists but fizzled out in the second half like most of his teammates.
This series now becomes a best of three with questions asked about Andrew Nicholson’s availability for the next game. The team who wins the next one will have the advantage of going 3-2 with only one more game to clinch the big prize.
So if possible it has to be all hands on deck for the Dragons in the next game to ride on this momentum even without their star player.
The PBA Commissioner’s cup game five will be this Sunday at the Mall of Asia arena in Pasay City.