Bay Area clobbers Ginebra to tie PBA Comm's Cup Finals ahead of New Year

Andrew Nicholson raises the three sign after hitting a long-range shot. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—The last laugh in the PBA for 2022 belongs to Bay Area.

The Dragons ended the year for Asia's premier professional basketball league with a bang after clipping Barangay Ginebra, 99-82, in Game 2 of the Commissioner's Cup Finals on Wednesday night in front of 16,044 fans at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Just like in Game 1, Bay Area took control of the first quarter, holding Ginebra to only 16 points, but this time, the Hong Kong-based squad continued to roll in the second quarter, outscoring the PBA crowd darlings, 30-19, to go up, 52-35, at halftime.

The Gin Kings tried to mount a comeback in the second half, cutting the lead to just five, 68-63, early in the fourth quarter, but a 9-0 run afterward sparked the Dragons' breakaway.

Andrew Nicholson led Bay Area, which finally won over Ginebra after three tries and tied the best-of-seven series at one game apiece, with 30 points, 15 rebounds, one assist, two blocks, and one steal.

Ray-Ray Zhu added 25 points, five rebounds, six assists, and one steal.

Justin Brownlee put up a game-high 32 points on seven triples with 11 rebounds, three assists, and one steal for Ginebra, but he failed to get ample help from the locals with Jamie Malonzo the only other player in double figures with 10 markers.

Both teams will take a full week off before resuming their championship series next Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.