Bay Area fights back from 16-point deficit, stun San Miguel in Game 1
Visiting Bay Area extends winning streak to six games and draws first blood against San Miguel in their best-of-five semifinal
MANILA, Philippines – Bay Area overcame a 16-point deficit and overwhelmed San Miguel to hack out a 103-102 squeaker in Game 1 of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal at the PhilSports Arena on Wednesday, December 14.
Andrew Nicholson posted a monster double-double, while Hayden Blankley and Kobey Lam delivered a pair of clutch buckets late as the Dragons extended their winning streak and drew first blood in the best-of-five affair.
The Beermen took a 102-99 lead after a June Mar Fajardo putback with under a minute left before Bay Area stormed back after San Miguel surprisingly benched the six-time MVP in the decisive stretch.
Without Fajardo on the court, Blankley scored on a short spurt to pull the Dragons within a whisker, and Lam attacked the rim for the go-ahead basket that proved enough for the overseas squad to hold off the defending champions.
The Beermen missed their final two field goals, with import Devon Scott muffing the potential game-winning jumper as time expired.
Nicholson finished with 30 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks, Blankley put up 15 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks, while Lam poured in 12 points, 5 coming in their fourth quarter comeback that saw them outscore San Miguel, 25-1. 3.
Fueled by a sizzling first-half performance from Terrence Romeo, the Beermen held a lead as large as 16 points, 83-67, in the third quarter and entered the final salvo down 11 points, 89-78.
But Bay Area overcame that deficit with an 18-4 start in the fourth quarter anchored by Nicholson and Zhu Songwei to take a 96-93 advantage.
Zhu paced Nicholson in scoring with 19 points along with 7 assists as the Dragons won their sixth straight.
CJ Perez top scored for San Miguel with 24 points on top of 7 rebounds, while Romeo recorded 21 points, with 19 coming in the first two quarters.
Fajardo chipped in 11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 block in the loss.
Bay Area 103 – Nicholson 30, Zhu 19, Blankley 15, Ju 13, Lam 12, Yang 9, Liu 5, Song 0, Reid 0.
San Miguel 102 – Perez 24, Romeo 21, Lassiter 16, Cruz 11, Fajardo 11, Scott 9, Enciso 8, Ross 2, Brondial 0.
Quarter: 23-31, 51-59, 78-89, 103-102.