PBA Finals Quick Hits: Bay Area Hits Back With Better Offense and Better Defense

Bay Area came back with a better offense in Game 2 to level with Ginebra in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.

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Photo via PBA Images

The Bay Area Dragons came back with a better offense this time around, scoring a 99-82 victory over Barangay Ginebra in Game 2 of the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. It was a great performance for the Dragons on both ends of the floor, and they were able to douse the flames every time the Gin Kings tried to storm back. 

Bay Area had a 17-point advantage after the first half and weathered a Ginebra early run in the third quarter. Andrew Nicholson and Zhu Songwei hit timely shots in the payoff period, helping the Dragons tie the series at one win apiece.

Top Performers

  • Justin Brownlee

    32 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 7-14 3PT

  • Andrew Nicholson

    30 points, 15 rebounds, 2 blocks, 52% FG,

Better offense for the Dragons

With post plays for Andrew Nicholson resulting in either a turnover or a tough shot, Bay Area adjusted by getting their big man moving instead. Whether it be cutting to the basket or rolling after setting a screen, Nicholson’s movement opened up easier looks for his teammates. Nicholson amassed a double-double performance of 30 points and 15 rebounds, and it seemed like he always had the answer against any Ginebra fightback. 

It also helped that Zhu Songwei was on target early on. The 6-foot-9 power forward already had 17 points by the end of the first half, and finished the game with 25 points on 53% shooting from the field. Zhu set the tone and finished strong, partnering up with Nicholson in the frontcourt.

Other Takeaways:

  • Bay Area's defense also showed up tonight. They did a tremendous job switching on handoffs and screens, keeping Ginebra's offense on the perimeter for the most part. During times when the Gin Kings did penetrate, the Dragons' length helped them anticipate kickouts, forcing their opponents to cough up the ball.

  • It was a bad game for Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar, especially on the defensive end. He had a couple of head-scratching fouls, and just looked slow in individual coverages. Chalk this up as an off-night for Japeth, as he's sure to bounce back in Game 3, especially after Bay Area's frontcourt got the better of Ginebra's tonight.

  • Ginebra import Justin Brownlee produced another solid outing, tallying a game-high 32 markers built on seven threes. With the Gin Kings' offense finding it very difficult to get into a consistent flow, Brownlee hit a lot of bailout triples to keep his team in striking distance. But that is not sustainable offense, as what Ginebra found out in Game 2.

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