Belga Chuanxing Liu, Bay Area’s 7-5 center, towers over Beau Belga of Rain or Shine in this bit of action in the PBA Commissioners Cup at the Philsports Arena. Photo by Ernie Sarmiento

Dragons make it

December 12, 2022 Robert Andaya 181 views

THERE’S no stopping Bay Area Dragons.

Bay Area clobbered Rain or Shine, 126-96, in their quarterfinal match in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena.

Hayden Blankley waxed hot in the second half and finished with a career-high 47 points on 10-of-13 shooting in the three-point territory on top of 10 rebounds in 37 minutes of action.

Returning Andrew Nicholson added 32 points and eight rebounds and Glen Yang contributed 13 points, 10 assists and six rebounds to power the Dragons to the semifinals.

Rey Nambatac topscored for the Rain or Shine with 19 points while Ryan Pearson added 15 points in 31 minutes on the floor for veteran coach Yeng Guiao.

Mike Nieto and Andrei Caracut had 12 points apiece.

The top-seeded Dragons will face either San Miguel Beel or Converge in the semis.

The Beermen lead their best-of-three quarterfinal series, 1-0.

Bay Area coach Brian Goorjian believes the Beermen will make it to the semis.

He said he is thrilled to get a shot at the defending champion.

“This is not the same San Miguel team that we saw in the regular season with (Terrence) Romeo in the team now, the big fellow (June Mar Fajardo) back and their overall depth. It’s gonna be a real challenge for us,” said Goorjian.

“I’m just so excited that we’re in the top four of the PBA in our first year. Tremendous accomplishment and we get to step up to the plate and get a swing at the champs. Couldn’t ask for more.”

Goorjian had good words for Guiao and the Elasto Painters.

“Respect to Rain or Shine. (But) we shot the hell out of the ball tonight. They were competitive and they played us tough. The coach’s gameplan was very, very good.”

The scores:

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.
Quarterscores: 27-16, 60-44, 92-68, 126-96.