This series has lived up to expectations—a blast of a finale getting down to a climactic ending.
After four games with exciting twists and turns, the Barangay Ginebra Kings and the Bay Area Dragons engage in a big Sunday clash, disputing the pivotal 3-2 lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven title playoff at the MOA Arena.
Tip-off is at 5:45 p.m.
The series has turned out to be a war of attrition with Ginebra coming through with the first blow, Bay Area striking back, the Kings pulling off an incredible come-from-behind win in Game 3, and the Dragons fighting back with their own epic triumph in Game 4.
The war is back to square one, remaining too close to call, especially after the Dragons’ 89-82 victory on Friday carved out even with Andrew Nicholson confined on the bench with an injured left ankle.
And the Dragons are determined to get going, with or without an import. Myles Powell is out for the rest of the tourney while Nicholson is a game-time decision for coach Brian Goorjian.
“(Now) We’ve got something to come with and we have a responsibility to make it a great series,” said Goorjian.
They’re motivated but are not to get carried away by their great Game 4 victory.
“A long way to go. Winning a game means nothing. This is a series and you got to win four.” Goorjian said. “But it keeps this thing interesting for everybody. There wouldn’t have been anything worse than being down 1-3 and beaten by 30 then going into the next one and the series is over.”
The goal for the Dragons now is to break the trend in the series, eyeing back-to-back wins to seize the series upper hand.
For the Kings, it’s about redemption from their Friday letdown that ruined their bid for a commanding 3-1 lead on the night Justin Brownlee and Scottie Thompson were crowned the Best Import and the Best Player of the Conference.
“Good thing, nangyari sa amin nang hindi pa Game 7,” Thompson said as he also rued how they were “outworked” in that setback. “We still have time to adjust and figure out kung ano dapat naming gawin next game.”
“It was disappointing. We had a chance to really gain some traction on the series and put Bay Area on the brink. But you have to tip off your cap to them. Despite missing their import, they came into the game with great spirit and played with a great motor all game long,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“We’ve seen games like that before when the import is out and you can catch a team sleeping. We have no excuses. Like we said at the beginning, this is going to be a tough series. Nothing ever comes easy in the Finals.” (pba.ph)