PBA: Bay Area KOs Rain or Shine to nab 1st semis berth


Posted at Dec 09 2022 05:31 PM | Updated as of Dec 09 2022 07:46 PM

MANILA -- (UPDATED) Bay Area made quick work of Rain or Shine to nab the first semifinal berth in the PBA Commissioner's Cup on Friday at Philsports Arena.

The Dragons, led by Hayden Blankley's career-high 47 points, sailed to a dominant 126-96 win over the Painters.

Andrew Nicholson added 32 points and 8 rebounds for Bay Area which held a twice-to-beat edge heading to their quarterfinals match.

The Dragons will face whoever wins the quarterfinals showdown between San Miguel Beer and Converge in a best-of-5 semis series.

Bay Area coach Brian Goorjian believes they will battle the Beermen next.

"This is not the same San Miguel team that we saw in the regular season with (Terrence) Romeo in the team now, the big fellow (June Mar Fajardo) back and their overall depth. It's gonna be a real challenge for us," he said.

"I'm just so excited that we're in the top four of the PBA in our first year. Tremendous accomplishment and we get to step up to the plate and get a swing at the champs. Couldn't ask for more."

The Dragons used its height and outstanding shooting night to bring down Rain or Shine.

"Respect to Rain or Shine. (But) we shot the hell out of the ball tonight. They were competitive and they played us tough. The coach's game plan was very, very good," said Goorjian.

Despite sitting out the final period, Rey Nambatac still led Rain or Shine with 19 points. Ryan Pearson added 15 points and Andrei Caracut and Mike Nieto 12 apiece. 

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