BOCAUE, Bulacan – The Ginebra chant at the end of the buzzer was never as loud and as energetic as what has been heard inside the massive Philippine Arena.
It was a victorious cry from a record-breaking 54,589 crowd serenading the battle scarred heroes at the end of a hard-fought series as Barangay Ginebra pulled off a masterful 114-99 victory over the Bay Area to win the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup crown on Sunday, Jan. 15.
The Kings left everything they got especially during a sizzling second quarter run and left the Dragons in the dust as Ginebra successfully defended the home court against the visiting guest team to hoist its 14th PBA title and the 25th for head coach Tim Cone in front of a raucous crowd that officially broke the previous attendance record 54,086.
Justin Brownlee was in the middle of the blistering first half onslaught, dropping 24 of his 34 points along with his eight rebounds and 12 assists while Scottie Thompson was once again all over the place with his 18 points and nine rebounds
Jamie Malonzo, silent all-series long, also saved his best for last, posting a double-double of 22 points and 17 rebounds.
It was also him who joined hands with Thompson and Brownlee who anchored a telling 21-7 run in the second quarter that all but broke the backs of the suddenly cold-shooting Dragons.
Back-to-back triples from Thompson and LA Tenorio along with a two-handed dunk from Japeth Aguilar at the first half buzzer punctuated the huge second quarter that saw the Kings outplay the Dragons, 34-18, sending the entirety of fans in the arena in frenzy.
The rout however didn’t come without a scare as the Dragons tried to mount a comeback of their own as they cut the lead down to just 13 points, 106-93 with 3:44 left in the contest.
That, however, was the closest the Dragons could get as the Kings went on a back-breaking 7-0 spurt to restore order and seal the deal.
Myles Powell, after being limited to just nine points in the first half, exploded with 20 in the final two quarters to finish with 29 points. Hayden Blankley provided support with 25 – all of which went down the drain as the Dragons couldn’t cap their PBA stint with a historic title.
With his impact both on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor, Christian Standhardinger was hailed as the Finals MVP — the first of his career after posting consistent numbers that saw him average 10.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals.