MANILA, Philippines—Myles Powell and the Bay Area Dragons sent the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals to a deciding 87-84 win over Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday before a packed crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Placed back on the active roster with the Dragons in dire straits, Powell put up 29 points including his team’s last six that foiled the Gin Kings’ first crack at winning the crown before more than 22,000 fans.
Bay Area also had to come back from seven down in the fourth after Ginebra erased a 12-point third quarter deficit anchored by import Justin Brownlee and hardworking Christian Standhardinger.
But the Dragons had other ideas with Powell and Hayden Blankley leading the charge and the series between the country’s most popular team and the visitors from Hong Kong will play one more game for all the marbles.
The decider is set Sunday at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan after the league moved the schedule from the original Friday playdate.
Blankley had 23 points while Zhu Songwei and Glen Yang added 10 apiece for coach Brian Goorjian’s squad.
Brownlee put up 37 points while Standhardinger had 12 points but Ginebra’s struggles offensively contributed to a quiet night for its other main cogs like Scottie Thompson and Game 5 hero Stanley Pringle.
Back-to-back layups by Powell made it 85-82 for Bay Area with 2:37 left in the fourth before Brownlee scored Ginebra’s final basket on the next play, setting up a series of misses until the final buzzer.
Ginebra went empty-handed in the next three possessions following Brownlee’s conversion and Powell knocked down two of four charities to extend Bay Area’s lead, with five seconds left.
Bay Area then forced Japeth Aguilar to miss a contested three-point attempt at the horn, and the series was extended for one final game.
BAY AREA 87 — Powell 29, Blankley 23, Yang 10, Zhu 10, Lam 9, Liu 4, Reid 2, Zheng 0, Ju 0.
GINEBRA 84 — Brownlee 37, J.Aguilar 12, Standhardinger 12, Thompson 8, Pringle 8, Malonzo 4, Pinto 3, Tenorio 0, Gray 0.
Quarters: 25-20, 50-42, 66-64, 87-84.
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