PBA: Bay Area wants to be competitive with top teams, says coach

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2022 10:27 PM

Bay Area coach Brian Goorjian. PBA Images.
Bay Area coach Brian Goorjian. PBA Images.

MANILA, Philippines -- After their historic demolition of the Blackwater Bossing in their first game in the PBA, the head coach of the Bay Area Dragons feels that there is still a long way to go for his team.

The Dragons completely overwhelmed Blackwater on Wednesday night, registering a 133-87 win to open their campaign in the 2022 PBA Commissioner's Cup. It's the biggest loss in franchise history for the Bossing.

Multi-titled coach Brian Goorjian, who is calling the shots for Bay Area, was pleased with how they started the game. With Myles Powell waxing hot early, the Dragons led 36-19 after the first quarter and were never really threatened by Blackwater. 

"We've struggled being here guarding the quickness the Filipino league possesses," said Goorjian, whose team played several tune-up games with local teams ahead of the conference. "It's been difficult for us. And that's been a focus point."

"I think at the start of the game, our defense was good. We stayed in front of them. We did a good job on the on-balls, and then on the offensive end, we really clicked," he added. 

Bay Area is familiar with Blackwater, having played them in three tune-up matches -- all of which were won by the guest team from Hong Kong. The Dragons also played against the NLEX Road Warriors, the TerraFirma Dyip, the Converge FiberXers, and the Ateneo de Manila University in the lead-up to the Commissioner's Cup.

But with their first official game under their belt, Goorjian believes that they have room to grow as a team. The coach has familiarized himself with the local basketball landscape and wants the Dragons to be competitive with the top teams in the PBA.

"What we want to do is we want to keep getting better, we want to keep improving," Goorjian said. "And I'll just say it again to everybody -- we're honored to be involved in this league and be this guest team."

"I've seen the semifinals and the finals, and I know how great this league is and how great those top teams are," he added. "We just want to come in and show the country that we're here to help the basketball, we want to learn, we want to grow, and we want to provide something that's entertaining to your public."

"I hope we have a team that gets good enough down the stretch that we can compete with the San Miguels and the Talk 'N Texts, those teams down the back stretch, that would be huge for us."

Bay Area is the first guest team to compete in the PBA since 2004. Aside from the Commissioner's Cup, they will also be seeing action in the East Asia Super League (EASL). They will have two imports available in the EASL, but only one can play in the PBA and the Dragons went with 6-foot-2 guard Myles Powell, who previously played for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA.

Powell was unstoppable on Wednesday, making 14 of 28 shots for 41 points. 

While his team was impressive against Blackwater, Goorjian is anticipating some challenges in future games especially as they play teams they are not familiar with. Up next for them is NorthPort on Saturday.

"That's part of the difficulty -- I haven't even seen or known what you're talking about. I know they play. We'll get video on them," said the coach. "I've seen the top four [teams] play and I know the guards play tremendously."

"I've heard of this team [NorthPort] and I know this team has great guards. That is a challenge for us. Again, we're just trying to get better each day and improve and get better on the defensive end, and I'm sure that'll be a challenge," he added.

PBA Season 47 games can be streamed live and on-demand on iWantTFC with a Premium subscription, available worldwide except PH and US.