The Bay Area Dragons refused to let their emotions reach their best Friday and returned the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioners Cup Finals to equal conditions with a brave victory in Game 4 without Import Andrew Nicholson.
“I think our boys are brave and they’re fearless tonight,” Goorjian said after the Dragons overcame Nicholson’s absence to stun Barangay Ginebra, 94-86, in front of 17,236 fans grave at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Forty-eight hours after the melee in Game 3 annoyed Goorjian and left the imported subs Hayden Blankley and Myles Powell taking shots while operating via social media, the Dragons let their game do the talking. despite the odds piling up against them.
That was even after Ginebra, who was in a good mood before kick-off when Justin Brownlee received the Best Import award and Scottie Thompson was hailed as the Conference Player of the Year, took the lead. 12 points at one point and 46- 38 in the first half.
Kobey Lam, who showed a glimpse of his offensive prowess throughout the conference, had his best game at the most crucial moment as he racked up 30 points based on eight thirds, including several points. in the fourth inning killed any hope of another Ginebra return.
Zhu Songwei and Glen Yang were also made for the Bay Area, but perhaps most importantly, the two players who filled the void left by Nicholson — sidelined with a swollen left ankle — in the pivotal position were Goorjian, who had a short rotation in this series, using the right combination of 10 men got the job done.
Duncan Reid picked up eight points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes, while 7-foot-5 Liu Chuanxing had similar numbers, much to the chagrin of his coaches Tim Cone and Gin Kings.
“I can’t remember how angrier I got after the last game,” Goorjian said after the Bay Area squandered a seven-point lead in the final four minutes for Ginebra to win Game 3 by 89- 82.
“So I kept quiet from the media and with my team, gathered my thoughts, and went to the bunker knowing we didn’t have Nicholson. So we had to take it away,” said Goorjian. “We have to play with a defensive presence and we have to move the ball.
“I am proud of my youth team that played in a game like this, played and won. I’m really proud right now,” he added as the focus will now be on Sunday’s 5th Important Game at the same venue with the winner going for a win over the crown. .
Still not sure
Nicholson, who hasn’t competed after showing up in streetwear and a boot, day after day, gives Goorjian and his friends some hope that he might return . But Goorjian has ruled out any chance to bring back Powell, who is also sidelined with a leg injury.
But the way it played minus the former NBA player sent a strong message that the Bay Area could still be a team that was seen as going forward.
Ginebra had 24 points, 13 bounces, 11 assists and 4 steals from Brownlee the night he won Best Import for the third time, while Thompson had 18 points, 5 bounces and 6 support times.
But the Gin Kings failed to defend their lead against the Dragons this time, led by Lam being shot and awakened by Blankley after missing the first 11 shots, plus Liu and Reid, turned the tide and drove the partisan fans away. euphoria in the final game—arousal and incredulity.
“We worked too hard,” Thompson lamented in Filipino as he emerged from the tunnel.
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