PBA: Bay Area Dragons rally to beat San Miguel in semifinals Game 1
MANILA, Philippines–Bay Area overcame a slow start and a 16-point deficit to stun San Miguel Beer, 103-102, and take the opener of their best-of-five semifinal series in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Kobey Lam scored the go-ahead layup with 7.1 seconds left before the Dragons completed the win when Beermen import Devon Scott missed a fadeaway attempt in the game’s final play.
“What I’m most proud about is that they were on top of us, but we never quit,” said an emotional Bay Area coach Brian Goorjian, whose father passed away recently.
The guest team from Hong Kong, which beat San Miguel by 26 but was bracing for a tough series after a late surge anchored by the return of June Mar Fajardo and Terrence Romeo, tries to make it two in a row in Game 2 on Friday at the same venue.
Import Andrew Nicholson had 30 points and 15 rebounds, Zhu Songwei scored 19 points while dishing out seven assists even as Hayden Blankley, Ju Mingxin, Lam and Glen Yang delivered for Bay Area.
CJ Perez scored 24 points while Terrence Romeo had 19 of his 21 points in the first half but the Beermen blew a chance to draw first blood in the series.
San Miguel lost for the first time since assistant coach Jorge Gallent was tasked to take over in an acting capacity in lieu of Leo Austria due to health and safety protocols.
The Beermen had won the previous six straight matches after Gallent called the shots.
San Miguel held an 83-67 lead in the third but Bay Area slowly chipped away behind Nicholson, Zhu, Lam, Blankley and Yang.
It appeared that San Miguel would have pulled off the escape act when Perez spearheaded a turnaround which resulted in a 102-99 lead. But Yang found Blankley for a basket then also assisted on Lam’s winning basket in transition following a stop on the other end.
WATCH: Brian Goorjian reflects on the passing of his father before praising Bay Area’s refusal to quit in stealing Game 1 of the semis from San Miguel | @jonasterradoINQ /PDI pic.twitter.com/XV4vNz4NNN
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) December 14, 2022
BAY AREA 103 — Nicholson 30, Zhu 19, Blankley 15,Ju 13, Lam 12, Yang 9, Liu 5, Song 0, Reid 0.
SAN MIGUEL 102 — Perez 24, Romeo 21, Lassiter 16, Cruz 11, Fajardo 11, Scott 9, Enciso 8, Ross 2, Brondial 0.
Quarters: 23-31, 51-59, 78-89, 103-102.