A beautiful escape to kick off the Bay Area’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup semi-final series against San Miguel Beer was enough for coach Brian Goorjian to see the essence of the showdown.
“This is a war, not a game; we’ve got a lot to play,” Goorjian said after the Dragons had a poor start and a 16-point deficit in the third quarter following a violent rally in the late stages to stun the Beermen, 103 -102, in their best opening game of the year on Wednesday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
A change by Kobey Lam in the transition with seven seconds left helped the Bay Area win from San Miguel and presumably made a claim that they didn’t win 10 games to top the knockout stage only. for not reaching the end goal.
But even with the opportunity to take a 2-0 lead in Game 2 on Friday at the same venue, Goorjian is more worried about preparing for a big reaction from San Miguel.
“A different series from the regular season,” says Goorjian. “You can play the same team five times and the team that adjusts and gets better as the series goes on is the team that wins the series. This is just a game.
“There are a lot of things we haven’t done well that we can do better and that will be the focus. Heal, get their bodies fresh again and then make adjustments where we got injured this first time and see where we go,” he added.
The result was a bitter pill to swallow for the Beermen, who entered the series with high hopes that they would turn down the Dragons’ offer to become the second foreign team to win the championship despite losing the title. that team with a score of 26 in the knockout round meeting. two months ago.
San Miguel, the team that won six games in a row after assistant Jorge Gallent was tasked with taking over after coach Leo Austria was put on health monitoring, showed their mettle after CJ Perez, Terrence Romeo, import Devon Scott and June Mar Fajardo.
But even after taking the lead, 83–67, in the third round and seemingly ignoring the Dragons rally to take the lead, 102–99, with less than a minute left, the Beermen didn’t. agreement can be completed. And now, they will have to figure out how to recover and end the streak.
“They didn’t give up until the last bell,” Perez said in Filipino. “We have to make sure we can finish the game strong.”
Import dragon Andrew Nicholson scored 30 points and 15 rebounds in his second game back after Myles Powell injured his leg. But it’s the local Bay Area players who do the plays when it matters.
Zhu Songwei, Hayden Blankley, Lam and Glen Yang are contributing on both sides as the deficit fades. They also refused to back down even when the Dragons were on the verge of defeat.
Yang accounted for two assists to give the Bay Area the win, the first finding Blankley for the fix which reduced the lead to one at 102-101. A stop on the next turn provided an exit for Yang for Lam, whose strike put Dragon ahead.
“We have been saying this for a long time. We will not win this by depending on one person. And that’s how we started, it’s all about Myles or it’s all about Andrew, and they need help getting this done,” Goorjian said.
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