Christmas Day fireworks set as Ginebra, Bay Area ready to go all out in Finals duel

Barangay Ginebra and Bay Area mean serious business despite sharing pleasantries ahead of their Christmas Day showdown in Game One of the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals collision on Sunday, Dec. 25, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

PLAYERS and coaches of Bay Area and Barangay Ginebra gather for a photo with PBA chief Willie Marcial and the Commissioner's Cup champion trophy. (PBA Images)

Seen to draw a big crowd in the venue and millions of viewers online as the series is also set to be streamed in mainland China and Southeast Asia through the EASL, both the Kings and the Dragons promised to deliver a PBA Finals to remember during the press conference at the Novotel Manila on Friday, Dec,. 23

Also expected to add color to an already mouth-watering matchup between the talented and disciplined teams is the chess match between two legendary coaches in Ginebra’s Tim Cone and Bay Area’s Brian Goorjian.

Cone, the winningest coach in PBA history, both championships and games won, guns for his 25th title while Goorjian, the man who steered the Australian Boomers to a bronze medal finish in the Tokyo Olympics, looks to guide Bay Area to a historic title in the PBA.

Admittedly feeling the pressure as the Kings get the task to defend the home court against the visiting Dragons, Cone looks to draw inspiration from the huge home crowd expected to fill up the venues throughout the series.

“They took down a really strong San Miguel team. We have our hands full and we’re embracing the challenge. To be honest we’re playing for more than ourselves, more than just Ginebra. We’re playing for the league. We’re playing for the country,” said Cone.

“We almost feel like we’re playing like the national team which is really cool. a lot is at stake in this particular time. This might be the best finals I have ever been to so I am really looking forward to this one,” he added.

Having seen the Filipino brand of basketball for five months now, Goorjian knew full well that nothing will come easy in the Finals and especially against the crowd darlings. But just like the Kings, they are up for the challenge and they are ready to play with the fans and deliver.

“This is a tremendous basketball team. It is recognized not just in the PBA but internationally as a powerhouse and no. 2 especially with what coach Tim Cone has done with this team, what they run and how they play. Nothing but respect for the opposition,” said Goorjian

“We are really excited to be in the country where basketball is no.1 and to play in the finals and if it does get to Game 7 to play in front of 50,000 people is incredible and mind blowing,” he added.