Talk’s cheap, says Goorjian, as he ponders on how Bay Area can do better job in Game 2 | Inquirer Sports

Talk’s cheap, says Goorjian, as he ponders on how Bay Area can do better job in Game 2

/ 05:30 AM December 27, 2022

Bay Area Dragons coach Brian Goorjian. –PBA IMAGES

Bay Area Dragons coach Brian Goorjian. –PBA IMAGES

It didn’t take Dragons coach Brian Goorjian too long to identify what exactly doomed Bay Area in its series-opening Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup encounter with Barangay Ginebra on Christmas Day.

They were, in order: “Brownlee. The glass. And some way we get [Andrew] Nicholson comfortable on the floor.”


“We got to do something with [Justin] Brownlee and we didn’t,” the Dragons mentor told reporters shortly after a 96-81 loss at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.


Brownlee finished with 28 points on nine-of-16 shooting while adding 13 rebounds and six assists in Game 1, proving to be a thorn all night for the Dragons, who got mauled off the boards, 58-35.

“We started well, but we couldn’t keep them off the glass,” Goorjian said.

“They killed us on the glass and we’ve been winning [on] that. If we don’t, if we can’t [stop] Scottie Thompson, Brownlee, those perimeter guys, if they rebound like that, we’re in trouble.”

Foul trouble

And in light of how key cog Zhu Songwei struggled with three fouls early, Goorjian peeled away a layer of diplomacy and added a pinch of gamesmanship to discuss the last factor: “… how they guarded [Nicholson]—and his freedom of movement.”

“He’s got to be able to move somewhere. Everywhere he goes to step, a guy jumps onto him and smacks him, smacks him. That’s something learned in Game 1. And we’re gonna have to come up with a solution. That caught me off guard. Cause I didn’t think you were allowed to do that,” he added.

“That defense on our best player was hard to deal with tonight. We could never get him loose. But this is something you learn from the playoffs.”


Huge factor

Bay Area's Zhu Songwei vs Ginebra's Justin Brownlee. –PBA IMAGES

Bay Area’s Zhu Songwei vs Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee. –PBA IMAGES

Zhu, Bay Area’s deadeye shooter, collected his fouls just four minutes into Game 1.

“It was a huge factor in the game,” Goorjian said. “I might say, they were good calls. [Zhu] fouled, and it was undisciplined on his part. He didn’t make any adjustments. He had hand fouls and he grabbed and he held. They were fouls that put us in trouble so that’s going to be looked at.”

“But I say this again: They guarded Nicholson like that and there was no penalty for it. Again, it’s hard to score when you’re being bumped and held. They called it and those were fouls. I thought they got away with murder on the other end guarding him,” he added.

Goorjian understands that it’s one thing to be able to troubleshoot and make plans, but another to make sure the Gin Kings don’t get away with murder again.

“I told you the things we’re gonna address, but talk’s cheap,” the Olympic bronze-winning mentor said. “We gotta get things done.”

“They’re deep, they’re athletic, they’re long. And just in general, I thought we shot the ball poorly,” he added.


The Dragons shot 30-of-78 from the field for 38 percent, while the Kings made 38 of 76 attempts for a 50 percent clip.

Goorjian has his work cut out if he wants to hone these Dragons into a better fighting group for Game 2.

But Ginebra skipper LA Tenorio feels the wily mentor will be able to do just that to avoid falling into a 0-2 tarpit. “They’re gonna come back. I’m sure of that,” Tenorio said.

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“The ball is in our court. We got to get better for the second game,” said Goorjian. “We got pretty well manhandled tonight, so ball’s on our court to make some adjustments.”


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TAGS: Barangay Ginebra, Bay Area Dragons, PBA

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