PBA: Bay Area Dragons blow out Rain or Shine to secure semis berth
MANILA, Philippines— Guest team Bay Area secured the first seat in the semifinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after a dominant display that led to a 126-96 rout of quarterfinal foe Rain or Shine on Friday at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
A 47-point explosion from Hayden Blankley along with a strong showing by import Andrew Nicholson in his return allowed the Dragons to easily barge their way in the final four of the midseason conference.
But coach Brian Goorjian made sure to praise the Elasto Painters side, which needed a playoff win over NLEX last Sunday to secure the last seat in the quarters.
“We shot the hell out of the ball tonight. They were competitive and they played us tough,” Goorjian said.
Nicholson scored 23 of his 32 points in the first half while hauling down eight rebounds after he was tapped to suit up for the Dragons’ first playoff match after Myles Powell suffered an injured foot.
Goorjian said Powell is listed as “day-to-day” after an MRI revealed that his injury was severe.
The Australian-born Blankley, among the Dragons’ local players, knocked down most of his 10 triples in the second half as the lead ballooned after the Elasto Painters closed to within nine before the break.
Rey Nambatac and import Ryan Pearson scored 19 and 15, respectively, as Rain or Shine wrapped up coach Yeng Guiao’s return to the team.
BAY AREA 126 — Blankley 47, Nicholson 32, Yang 13, Zhu 9, Song 6, Zheng 5, Lam 5, Liu 4, Ewing 3, Reid 2, Si 0, Ju 0, Zhang 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 96 — Nambatac 19, Pearson 15, Caracut 12, Nieto 12, Asistio 9, Mamuyac 8, Clarito 7, Santillan 7, Belga 3, Ponferrada 1, Norwood 0, Guinto 0, Ildefonso 0, Torres 0.
Quarters: 27-16, 60-44, 92-68, 126-96.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.