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Goorjian believes Bay Area learned alot after Ateneo tuneup

Bay Area continued to ramp up its preparations ahead of its stint in the upcoming 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup and East Asia Super League starting next month.

And on Saturday afternoon, head coach Brian Goorjian faced a familiar foe as his team went up against an Ateneo side led by his longtime rival Tab Baldwin.

The Dragons showcased their caliber early on as they built a lead that reached as high as 22 points. The Blue Eagles stared at a 20-point deficit upon heading to the fourth quarter but they managed to cut the lead down to seven points with 41 seconds left in the game.

However, Ateneo eventually ran out of time to complete their comeback as they succumbed to Bay Area on a 93-102 decision.

Moments after carving out a tough win, Goorjian revealed that he already expected to receive a tough challenge from their collegiate counterparts who are being mentored by no less than Tab Baldwin.

“[It was] a really good game for us. We wanted to play a team that was physical, played real hard, and played together,” said the six-time NBL champion coach. “I know Coach Baldwin and I know his reputation. I’ve competed against him for years and I knew that he’d have a team like that and in our development as a brand new team, we needed a game like this.

“They were very physical, very deep, played real hard, and played together. They never quit,” he continued.

“It was a really good test for us, we learned a lot, and we got better today. That’s what the preseason is about.”

Prior to facing Ateneo, the Dragons already matched up against Blackwater in two tuneup games — both of which went in Bay Area’s favor.

#ReadMore  Baldwin wants Filipino B.League imports to show up and lead next season

After winning their third straight preseason contest against the Blue Eagles, Goorjian shared that he is already liking what he’s seeing from his team as they continue to adjust to the brand of basketball being played here in the Philippines.Ateneo-vs-Bay-Area Goorjian believes Bay Area learned alot after Ateneo tuneup ADMU Basketball EASL News PBA  - philippine sports news

“The basketball, I’ve really enjoyed,” the current Boomers head coach claimed. “I think it’s played at a very fast tempo. I think it’s very tough and physical in a good way. Very competitive.

“This team was much more ball movement, less dribble. The team that we played before was a lot more on-ball, so we’re seeing a lot of different styles of play. And that’s great for us because we’re playing against different styles.”

Goorjian admitted that his team still has more room for improvement although he’s very much satisfied with the state of their buildup at the moment.

With a month to go before their first official game as a guest team in the PBA, the Dragons are still aiming to get as many runs as possible in order to prepare themselves better in time for their upcoming tournaments.Ateneo-vs-Bay-Area-Dragons-bench Goorjian believes Bay Area learned alot after Ateneo tuneup ADMU Basketball EASL News PBA  - philippine sports news

“I really liked it. We’ve got a couple more pieces to come, a couple more players. Our imports just arrived so these games are just so important and our setup is really good – where we practice and how we live – so no excuses,” the American-Australian mentor stressed.

“We’re trying to play as many games before the 16th and so far we’ve played three and we’ve probably only been here two and a half weeks so I’m really happy with the preparation. I think our team’s getting better.”

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