Barangay Ginebra successfully defended its home turf against visiting Bay Area Dragons whom they defeated, 114-99, in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup do-or-die Game 7 before a record crowd of 54,589 at the Philippine Arena on Sunday, January 15.
The Gin Kings went into the game with a clear mission to defend the country’s soil against a foreign invasion, and they accomplished this with a commanding performance.
From the opening tip-off, Barangay Ginebra took control of the game and never looked back.
Barangay Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee is unstoppable as he leads the Kings to a convincing 114-99 title victory over the Bay Area Dragons in Game 7 of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup race-to-four series. PBA PHOTO
They outscored Bay Area in every quarter, with their defense proving to be too much for the opposing team to handle.
This victory marks a significant achievement for Barangay Ginebra, not just for the franchise but also for the entire home front.
The team’s hard work and determination paid off having claimed the title of PBA Commissioner’s Cup champions after a grueling series.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone, who clinched his 25th PBA championship and seventh with Ginebra, screamed “Fifty-four thousand! Fifty-four thousand! Fifty-four thousand!,” leading the crowd and his squad in the chant “Ginebra! Ginebra! Ginebra!” during the post-game awarding ceremony.
With the support of their fans, commonly known as the “Sixth Man”, Justin Brownlee and his teammates put up a strong and unwavering effort in a decisive victory over Myles Powell and the Bay Area team in the series decider.
“I’m just happy to do it in front of this crowd,” said Brownlee, who maintained a perfect record of 6-of-6 in PBA finals, with this being his first win as a legitimate Filipino.
Brownlee erupted with 34 points, 12 assists, and eight rebounds as his teammates Jamie Malonzo, Christian Standhardinger, LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, and Scottie Thompson provided him with the needed support.
Standhardinger was a dominant force for the Kings against the Bay Area team throughout the series and was awarded the Honda Finals MVP.
Malonzo, on the other hand, romped away with the MVP honors with a phenomenal double-double output – 22 points and 17 rebounds.
Malonzo said, “When I was traded, I dreamed of this.”
Ginebra escaped past Bay Area, 4-3, in their best-of-seven titular showdown, also winning games 1 (96-81), 3 (89-82), and 5 (101-91).
The Kings established a strong performance in the beginning of the game, with powerful plays during the first half, spiced up by Aguilar’s buzzer-beating dunk, giving them a 61-39 edge at the break.
The Kings proved tenacious, not letting their guards down, as they widened the gap to 28 points and never looked back to secure their 15th championship in the league history, behind the San Miguel Beer.
Ginebra foiled its rival’s threat following Tenorio’s back-to-back treys, as the fans roared and chanted Ginebra’s name in the final two minutes.
Cone said, “We were totally surprised at how well we played and that we were able to handle Bay Area. The only explanation we can really give was that the crowd really lifted us to that performance.”