Ginebra shuts down Bay Area to take PBA Finals opener | Inquirer Sports
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Ginebra shuts down Bay Area to take PBA Finals opener

/ 07:57 PM December 25, 2022

LA Tenorio Ginebra PBA

LA Tenorio. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra held Bay Area to its tournament low on Christmas Day to carve out a 96-81 victory and then land the first strike in their best-of-seven duel for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

LA Tenorio reset his conference-high with 22 points, figuring prominently in a second-quarter attack that had the Gin Kings taking control of the contest before 18,252 screaming souls at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

“This is very important for us. Of all the Finals appearances I’ve (been in) it’s the first that’s really important, and coach Tim (Cone) has always preached that. We wanted to set the tone,” the club’s skipper said.

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Justin Brownlee led crowd darlings in scoring with 28 points and 13 rebounds, Christian Standhardinger with 16 and 10, while reigning Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson 14 and nine that went with six assists to draw first blood in the series that many feel would go the distance and gift this cage-crazed nation a timely treat.

“Playing on Christmas Day is a little bit overwhelming. And playing in the you have the two together, it makes for a lot of anxiety. But it is a special moment, a special time. People are coming with their families to come to see us. They’re watching the Philippines play, and that’s what makes it special,” said Cone.

“That’s the way we treated it,” he went on.

Ginebra enjoyed leads as big as 15 points all thanks to a furious run greased by Tenorio, Brownlee, and Standhardinger. The Gin Kings also kept it together—especially when the Dragons pulled within 74-69 early in the final frame.

Import Andrew Nicholson was held to just 27 points, while Glen Yang and Zhu Songwei accounted for 12 each. Kobey Lam chipped in 11 more as the guest club now plot against going into a 0-2 rut this Wednesday when the championship series moves to Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

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TAGS: Barangay Ginebra, Bay Area Dragons, PBA Finals

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