PBA Bay Area import Andrew Nicholson looks to make a play against two Barangay Ginebra defenders. Photo by Ernie Sarmiento

Pivotal Game 3

January 2, 2023 Robert Andaya 391 views

WITH the best-of-seven championship series tied at 1-1, Bay Area and Barangay Ginebra get back to action after a six-day holiday break for Game 3 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Area.

Game time is 5:45 p.m. with the winner taking an all-important 2-1 lead in the championship series shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent years.

The Gin Kings drew first blood with a convincing 96-81 victory in the series opener held on Christmas Day, Dec. 25 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Dragons, however, evened up the series with a similar lopsided 99-82 triumph three days later at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Game 3 is expected to bring out the best in both teams as the winner moves two wins away from the coveted championship in this import-flavored conference.

Both the Dragons and the Kings went back to work even during the holidays to practice and make the necessary adjustments.

…“The series is not over yet. Five more games in the series left.We just have to keep the momentum and we’ll see what happens,” said Bay Area import Andrew Nicholson.

A veteran of the NBA, Nicholson finished with 30 points, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, and 15 rebounds to power the Dragons to the series-tying victory over the Kings.

“We’re just focus on the game plan, and translate what we’re doing in practice into the game,” added the 6-10 Nicholson.”It is what it is. You get what you get, and we’re not really focus too much on that.”

The 17-point victory was Bay Area’s first win in three meetings so far with Ginebra, including the eliminations.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone admitted the team is a bit out of focus after the Kings were held to their fewest output in a finals since Game 3 of last season’s Governors’ Cup against Meralco.

“We didn’t have a whole lot of focus from the start I felt. They got everything they wanted , and we didn’t get anything that we wanted to do. They did a great job of disrupting (us),” explained Cone when asked about his assessment of their Game 2 setback.

“I think one thing that we learned tonight is that we just started to feel like we just showed up and win, and we can’t do that against this team that’s way, way, too good and too big, too athletic, and too well-coached,” added Cone.

The results:

Game 1 — Ginebra 96, Bay Area 81.
Game 2 — Bay Area 99, Ginebra 82
(Series tied at 1-1).

Game Wednesday:

(Mall of Asia Arena)
5:45 p.m. — Ginebra vs. Bay Area,