PBA Finals Primer: Ginebra’s Point-Of-Attack Defense Needs Improvement

A pivotal Game 5 awaits Ginebra and Bay Area in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.

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Original photos via PBA Images

PBA Sunday Game (January 8, 2023)

Venue: Mall of Asia Arena

Barangay Ginebra versus Bay Area Dragons – 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Game 5 (5:45 PM)

Game 4 Quick Recap

With Kobey Lam taking over late in the fourth quarter, the short-handed Bay Area Dragons pulled off a massive 94-86 victory over Barangay Ginebra in Game 4 of the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. Zhu Songwei and Glen Yang also chipped in 18 apiece, lead, as Bay Area outscored Ginebra, 56-40, in the second half.

Top Performers in Game 4

  • Justin Brownlee

    23 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists, 4 steals

  • Kobey Lam

    30 points, 9 points, 4 assists, 8-14 3PT

A more bucket-hungry Brownlee at the start

Justin Brownlee’s triple-double performance paced Ginebra in Game 4. Brownlee averages 6.4 assists this conference, and he already had six dimes by the end of the first half.

The Ginebra resident import then switched it up in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter when his team needed more of his scoring. Brownlee looked for shots more in the payoff period and finished the game with 23 points on 10-of-24 shooting.

In Game 5 though, we might see a more bucket-hungry Brownlee at the start. If Brownlee gets going right from the get-go, the Dragons might have to double him early, and Brownlee is adept at kicking out to his open teammates.

A couple of Gin Kings also found momentum in Game 4; Stanley Pringle was perfect in his three attempts from deep and Japeth Aguilar had his moments on offense too. Ginebra has a lot of options on offense, and early aggressiveness from Brownlee should set the tone for Game 5.

Ginebra's point-of-attack coverage needs improvement

Andrew Nicholson’s absence in Game 4 stripped Bay Area of a solid low post option, forcing them to change up the focus of their offense. The Dragons found great success penetrating the Gin Kings’ defense, particularly in that excellent second-half run. It resulted in a good inside-and-out offense, forcing Ginebra’s defense to scramble and even give up a lot of offensive boards.

Kobey Lam’s shot-making in the fourth quarter indeed stole the spotlight, but Ginebra also has to keep tabs on Glen Yang and Zhu Songwei. Both of them consistently beat their defenders off the dribble, opening up scoring opportunities for their teammates and for themselves.

There’s the possibility that Nicholson will sit out Game 5 again, so the Dragons will again rely on the Lam, Yang, and Zhu. Zhu, in particular, has consistently gotten his way around the Gin Kings’ defense this series.  Having said that, Ginebra’s point-of-attack coverage has to be better. They have the weapons to do that, especially if Jamie Malonzo and Japeth Aguilar turn in better performances in Game 5.

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