Kings, Dragons clash for glory in sudden death Game 7

In a duel where the loser is determined by whose knees are first to bend, the tale of triumphs and heartbreaks is coming close to its end. Only one kingdom would rise.

Justin Brownlee is expected to lead Ginebra back to the throne against Bay Area (Mark Balmores)

Expect fireworks and drama as the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup reaches it boiling point when Barangay Ginebra and Bay Area put a fitting conclusion to their epic Finals series in the Game 7 at the Philippine Arena in Sta. Maria, Bulacan on Sunday, Jan. 15.

Failing to stage their coronation in Game 6, the Kings gun for the crown before an expected another mammoth crowd as they hope to finally complete their brave home stand against the visiting Dragons in the 5:45 p.m showdown.

Bay Area, though, embracing the villain's role in its last game in the PBA, wants none of that as the Dragons look to conquer the PBA and become only the third guest team to win a league title in history – and the first in 37 years or since the Northern Consolidated Cement (NCC) Philippine national squad won it all in 1985.

With both teams getting a chance to take a breather and recuperate from injuries after the initial Friday schedule of the Game 7 was moved to Sunday, an all-out war is swelling to explode with two prolific imports in Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee and Bay Area’s Myles Powell being at the center of it all.

The two reinforcements first locked horns in Game 6 and it was good as advertised as Brownlee unloaded a complete line of 37 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, four steals and four blocks which all went down the drain after Myles Powell took over in the final frame of their 87-84 Game 6 win, dropping 12 of his team high 29 points to drag the series to the sudden death.

Their respective supporting casts should also play a big role in the outcome of the contest as injured starting guards LA Tenorio and Glen Yang look to shrug off the pain and orchestrate their respective teams’ attack.

Best Player of the Conference Scottie Thompson should display his MVP form along with Stanley Pringle, Japeth Aguilar, Christian Standhardinger and Jamie Malonzo if they wish to put the clamps down on the fire-breathing Dragons who have explosive scorers in Hayden Blankley and Kobey Lam, and reliable big men in Zhu Songwei, Liu Chuanxing and Duncan Reid.

An intense chess match at the sidelines between legendary coaches Tim Cone and Brian Goorjian is also worth noting.

Cone hopes to steer Ginebra to its 14th championship and further extending his reign as the winningest coach in the league with a 25th title while Goorjian looks to add another feather to a well-decorated hat with a PBA championship in his first ever Game 7 to join his six Australia NBL titles and bronze medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The trend of the series should augur well to the Kings' favor after winning Games 1,3, and 5 while the Dragons aim to break the cycle and become the first team to win back-to-back games after emerging triumphant in Games 2, 4, and 6.