Ginebra prevails over Bay Area in Christmas opener to PBA Comm's Cup Finals

Justin Brownlee outplayed Andrew Nicholson anew. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—Ginebra gave its fans that made up almost all of the 18,252 people that spent their Christmas night watching live PBA action a huge gift, beating Bay Area, 96-81, in Game 1 of the Commissioner's Cup Finals at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Gin Kings turned things around late in the second quarter, going on a 15-0 run to turn a 26-34 deficit midway through the period into a 41-34 lead.

They then pulled away in the second half as the Dragons, who entered the series number one in offense all conference long, were held to less than 90 for only the second time in the tournament.

Justin Brownlee led Ginebra, which drew first blood in the best-of-seven finals, with 28 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, one steal, and one block.

LA Tenorio added a conference-high 22 points, one rebound, three assists, and three steals, while Christian Standhardinger, who helped spark the team's game-turning second-quarter rally, finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Andrew Nicholson led Bay Area with 27 points, 12 rebounds, one block, and two steals.

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