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PBA: Lam, Bay Area claw back from 16 down, stun San Miguel in Game 1

Bay Area continued to have San Miguel’s number, storming back to frustrate the reigning champs through a 103-102 decision to seize an early lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals, Wednesday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

It was far from their first encounter last October but the result came out the same. Kobey Lam nailed the go-ahead lay-up off the break with 7.1 seconds left that eventually completed the Dragons’ fightback from 16 down.

“What I’m most proud about is when they got on top of us, we never quit. We stayed in the game,” said head coach Brian Goorjian.

Andrew Nicholson led the way with game-highs of 30 points and 15 rebounds as he played a key role in their fourth-quarter surge.

Zhu Songwei contributed 19 points and seven assists. Hayden Blankley tallied 15 points and nine rebounds, while Ju Mingxin supplied 13 points off the bench.

Lam finished with 12 markers for the guest team.

“We never let it go. And then, as the game went on, now you got 22-, 23-year-old legs still out on that floor and it played to our advantage,” said Goorjian.

“Nicholson was great, obviously Myles has been great. But I keep talking about the future of this thing is the local content, and their development. And this has been so good for them,” added the veteran mentor.

Game Two is on Friday, 5:45 PM, in the same venue. And Bay Area are surely looking to repeat for the commanding 2-0 advantage in the best-of-5 affair.

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CJ Perez, meanwhile, top-scored for San Miguel with 24 points in a performance wasted by the meltdown.

The two-time scoring king was undeniably the star for his side down the stretch. He made seven straight points to help the Beermen erase a deficit and build a 100-96 lead with under three minutes remaining.

His first five points during that heater of a run came from two big stops made by June Mar Fajardo on the other end. Fajardo provided rim protection despite being one foul away from being disqualified from the match.

The six-time MVP was also crucial on offense when he ended a wild sequence with a point-blank shot for the 102-99 lead with 37.5 seconds to go. However, he subbed out of the match as the coaches opted to go smaller and quicker.

Unfortunately, it was a decision they’d regret later on. Blankley attacked the middle and cut the deficit to just a point. Then Jericho Cruz’s missed triple enabled Lam to run all the way to the other end for the lead.

Devon Scott tried to win the game in the game’s final play. He went inside but opted for a fadeaway and missed as time expired.

“Breaks of the game,” Fajardo offered. “Good thing best-of-five, so may time kami makapag-adjust. So bukas, papanoorin namin.”

Terrence Romeo had 21 points, while Marcio Lassiter made 16. Fajardo and Cruz added 11 each for San Miguel, who is still missing head coach Leo Austria.

The Scores:

Bay Area 103 – Nicholson 30, Zhu 19, Blankley 15,Ju 13, Lam 12, Yang 9, Liu 5, Song 0, Reid 0.

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San Miguel 102 – Perez 24, Romeo 21, Lassiter 16, Cruz 11, Fajardo 11, Scott 9, Enciso 8, Ross 2, Brondial 0.

Quarterscores: 23-31, 51-59, 78-89, 103-102.

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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