MANILA, Philippines – The ice has been broken, first blood out.
In the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum, Barangay Ginebra will try to capitalize on their stunning Game 1 victory by going for a 2-0 lead against Bay Area.
After limiting Andrew Nicholson and the Dragons to their conference-low scoring totals in a 96-81 victory in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series, defense will determine the outcome of teams in Game 2.
Before the finals, Bay Area had a league-best scoring average of 110.4 points, never scored fewer than 89 points in a game, and had even surpassed the 120-point mark five times.
Nicholson, meanwhile, recorded a great eight-game streak in which he scored at least 30 points, surpassing his previous conference-low of 27 points from his PBA debut, which also resulted in a loss to Ginebra.
We had a chance to play better than we did. The ball enters our court in a series, according to Dragons head coach Brian Goorjian.
They ruled over us. They outperformed us in the [elimination round], so we get the adjustment,” Goorjian continued. “We were given a hard time, therefore it’s up to us to make some changes.”
Goorjian must contain LA Tenorio and Gin Kings import Justin Brownlee in addition to working to improve offensive looks for Nicholson and the rest of the Bay Area.
Before Brownlee took over in the fourth quarter of Game 1 and finished with a game-high 28 points along with 13 rebounds and 6 assists, Tenorio ran roughshod over the Dragons’ defense en route to a conference-high 22 points.
With 16 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals, Christian Standhardinger also performed admirably while doing double duty by making life difficult for Nicholson.
“We just can’t stop and not do anything. They are long, deep, and athletic,” according to Goorjian.
Meanwhile – Bay Area coach amazed by powerful Tenorio in PBA
However, Ginebra veteran LA Tenorio also caused problems for the Bay Area Dragons in Game 1 of the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. Justin Brownlee continues to be their biggest worry.
In the Gin Kings’ 96-81 victory, the 38-year-old Tenorio finished second in scoring with 22 points, including three triples, along with three assists, three steals, and two rebounds.
Coach for the Bay Area, Brian Goorjian, was genuinely startled by Tenorio’s productive night but was impressed by his performance.
On Tuesday’s “Sports Desk” of CNN Philippines, Goorjian stated of Tenorio, “He was shocking to me.” He displayed excellent play both on and off the ball.
He continued, “You play it like, ‘This will be okay,’ because you assume the man is older, but he was dominant. He was such a good team manager.
In the Commissioners’ Cup, Tenorio has played consistently for the Gin Kings, averaging 8.3 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.2 rebounds over the course of 19 games.
But Tenorio has improved in the playoffs, as he has done throughout his career. In their previous three games, he has scored in double figures, including an 18-point outing to end the semifinal series against the Magnolia Hotshots.
After Ginebra’s 99-84 victory over the Hotshots last week, coach Tim Cone praised Tenorio, saying, “He stepped up and accomplished this thing.” “We are here because of that.”
A few of the changes Goorjian and the Dragons intend to implement for Game 2, which will take place on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum, include controlling Brownlee and Tenorio. The coach emphasized that his team must handle “the controllables” and react well to the toughness of the Gin Kings.
He claimed that Ginebra’s defense, which was physical, strong, and didn’t allow for many easy baskets, was a contributing reason. But I thought we had some excellent opportunities, and if we want to win this series, we need to make those plays moving forward.