PBA Finals: Everything you need to know about Ginebra, Bay Area’s deciding Game 7
Expectations are high that the seventh game between Barangay Ginebra and Bay Area for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup crown could end up as one of the most memorable title deciders at least in recent memory.
The midseason trophy is not only at stake in Sunday’s finale at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
HOW MANY TITLE DECIDERS HAVE BEEN PLAYED IN THE PBA?
This would be the 29th time that a PBA championship in a Game 7, and 42nd in a do-or-die duel. Ten were best-of-five while the other two were best-of-three affairs.
HOW MANY TIMES HAS BARANGAY GINEBRA PLAYED A GAME 7?
Ginebra will play a Game 7 for the fifth time in its storied history in the big league. Its first was the memorable win over Shell in the 1991 First Conference on Rudy Distrito’s basket with one second left.
Other Game 7s experienced by the Barangay came in the 2008 Fiesta Conference when it defeated Air21, 2009 Fiesta Conference with a loss to San Miguel Beer and the 2017 Governors’ Cup that saw Ginebra defeating Meralco before nearly 55,000 fans at Philippine Arena.
HOW MANY TIMES HAS A FOREIGN TEAM WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP?
Bay Area will try to duplicate the feat of Nicholas Stoodley when it became the first international squad to capture the PBA title with its conquest of the 1980 Invitational. The Jeanmakers, an American roster led by Kenny Tyler and ex-Royal Tru Orange import Larry Pounds, swept Toyota in a best-of-three finals.
BUT ISN’T NICHOLAS STOODLEY THE ONLY GUEST TEAM TO WIN?
Northern Consolidated was the other guest to rule a PBA conference, sweeping Manila Beer in four games for the 1985 Reinforced Conference. The team was composed of the national team that eventually took the Asian Basketball Confederation (now Fiba Asia) crown with naturalized players Dennis Still and Jeff Moore, Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim and Hector Calma.
WHAT’S TIM CONE’S RECORD IN DECIDING GAMES?
The winningest coach is 9-5 overall in deciding games of a PBA Finals. He is 7-4 in Game 7s which came from his days with Alaska (1995 Governors’ Cup, 1996 Commissioner’s Cup, 1998 All-Filipino Cup, 2007 Fiesta Conference), B-Meg/San Mig Coffee (2012 Commissioner’s Cup, 2013 Governors’ Cup) and Ginebra (2017 Governors’ Cup).
He split his two Game 5s when his Alaska team blew a 0-2 deficit and fell to Purefoods and his idol Baby Dalupan in the decider of the 1990 Third Conference before completing the PBA’s Grand Slam in 2014 as San Mig edged Rain or Shine in the Governors’ Cup.
Cone also has a lone Game 3 back in 2003 which saw Alaska defeating Coca-Cola in the Finals of the revived Invitational tourney.
WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR JUSTIN BROWNLEE?
Brownlee has never lost in his previous five trips to the Finals, including his lone Game 7 win back in the 2017 Governors’ Cup against Meralco. A win will tie him with another resident import from Cone’s past: Alaska great Sean Chambers.
HOW MANY TIMES BRIAN GOORJIAN HAS WON A CHAMPIONSHIP?
Goorjian is a six-time champion in Australia’s National Basketball League, earning him the distinction as one of that league’s greatest coaches.
His victories in the NBL Grand Final came with the Southeast Melbourne Magic (1992 and 1996), a three-peat with the Sydney Kings (2003 to 2005) and South Dragons (2009).
HOW MANY TEAMS LED 3-2 BUT LOST THE TITLE?
Thirteen out of the 28 teams that led 3-2 went on to lose the series. The last three happened against San Miguel Beer, namely TNT (2022 Philippine Cup), Magnolia (2019 Philippine Cup) and Alaska (2016 Philippine Cup).