February 2, 2023

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Bay Area to even series with Ginebra

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Dragons working on rebounding and shooting errors in Game 1 

The Bay Area Dragons will try to avenge their loss to Ginebra Gin Kings when they clash anew in Game 2 of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven finals series on Wednesday, December 28, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Dragons succumbed to the Kings, 81-96, on Christmas Day at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.

ON GAME 1 LOSS. Bay Area Dragons coach Brian Goorjian attributes their PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven finals Game 1 loss to Ginebra to their rebounding and shooting errors. PBA PHOTOS

Bay Area coach Brian Goorjian attributed their loss to poor rebounding and shooting, saying that the Dragons need to address both for a comeback in Game 2.

“It’s a series, and the ball comes over to our court. Everybody (saw) what happened tonight. They dominated, they dominated us in the regular season (eliminations). So the adjustment comes to us. What are we gonna do,” Goorjian said in a post-game interview.

Ginebra outrebounded Bay Area, 58-35, as the Kings trio of import Justin Brownlee, Christian Standhardinger, and Jamie Malonzo combined for 33 boards.

Dragons import Andrew Nicholson grabbed 12 boards, becoming the only Bay Area player to submit rebounding double digits in the game.

Converting only 38 percent (30-of-78) from the floor, Bay Area’s shooting woes continued as the Kings were at 50 percent for shooting 38-of76 attempts.

Goorjian said, “Things are going to regress, but talk (is) cheap. We got to get those things done. They’re deep they’re athletic, and they’re long.”

“The ball is on our court, so we’ve got to be better for the second game. We got pretty well manhandled tonight,” he added.

He said Brownlee was unstoppable and the Kings seized the boards before a jampacked MOA crowd of 18, 252.

“We’ve got to do something with Brownlee, and we didn’t,” the 69-year-old Dragons mentor said. “So we got to play better than we did.”

Meanwhile, import Justin Brownlee allayed Barangay Ginebra fans’ fears after rolling his ankle in the first game of the championship series. He assured that there is no cause for worry due to the incident.

Brownlee had a double-digit performance, hitting 28 points (including 10 in the final period) and 13 rebounds.

He said, “I came down on my ankle. I think it was a play where I got a lay-up and came down to my foot. I’m okay though. It was just a little twist and turn. Got hurt for quite a few minutes but I got over it.”

Saying that he is good to play in Game 2, Brownlee still hopes for an injury-free final. “No injuries in the finals, hopefully. Pray to God,” he said.

Ginebra team captain LA Tenorio, meanwhile, aims to capitalize on his missed vacation trip with his family in Osaka, Japan by winning the Kings’ fourth PBA championship title in six conferences.

Tenorio said it was the first time he spent Christmas away from his family. “But … at the end of the day, it is really a blessing. It is a blessing for the family that they get to spend their vacation even without me and I’m here playing in the finals, in front of thousands of fans during the Christmas season.”

He added that his job comes with sacrifice, and part of that is missing special events.

“Being a professional, this is part of our sacrifice. Every time we play in the playoffs, my family is supportive of it. They really allow me to focus on what I have to do every playoffs,” Tenorio added.

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