Bay Area wins in 4, gears up for title showdown with Ginebra

There’s no stopping Bay Area from a dream finals showdown with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

Denied of a previous attempt, the visiting Dragons were unstoppable this time as Andrew Nicholson and Kobey Lam hit backbreaking three-point shots to clinch a pulsating 94-92 win over San Miguel Beer in Game 4 of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on 21 December.

By knocking out the Beermen in four games, the Dragons will advance to the finals to face the Gin Kings in a blockbuster best-of-seven championship showdown.

Game 1 is at 5 p.m., Christmas Day, also at MoA Arena.

Nicholson, who played nearly without relief for 45 minutes, produced 42 points, 21 rebounds and a steady 6-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc.

His last three-point shot of the game, a step back, long triple from right quarter court, dropped like a dagger to the Beermen and gave the Dragons some cushion, 94-90.

Earlier, Nicholson’s teammate, Lam, also hit a tough, well-contested trey against Marcio Lassiter, that basket serving as the go-ahead for Bay Area, 91-89.

San Miguel, which failed to defend the championship, had several chances to reverse the situation.

After Devon Scott shoved the Beermen within two, 94-92, with two free throws in the last 33 seconds of the match, San Miguel had a much-needed stop. But a transition trey from CJ Perez, an extra possession and a potential game-tying banked shot from June Mar Fajardo were all unsuccessful, allowing the Dragons to emerge victorious.

The scores:

BAY AREA 94 – Nicholson 42, Lam 26, Blankley 12, Zhu 7, Yang 3, Ju 2, Song 2, Liu 0, Reid 0

SAN MIGUEL 92 – Perez 28, Scott 25, Lassiter 14, Fajardo 9, Enciso 5, Cruz 4, Brondial 4, Romeo 3, Ross 0, Manuel 0

QUARTERS: 17-16, 46-38, 69-72, 94-92

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