Ginebra completes thrilling comeback vs Bay Area, regains series lead

The Kings made sure that the Dragons would feel the agony of defeat in front of a roaring Filipino crowd.

Justin Brownlee anchors Ginebra's offense against the tall and agile Bay Area Dragons. (Mark Balmores)

Justin Brownlee ignited a huge fourth quarter rally as Ginebra completed a thrilling 89-82 comeback win over Bay Area to regain control of the best-of-seven 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals series in Game 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 4.

Channeling the energy from the mammoth 15,004 in attendance who were up on their feet inside the venue during the waning minutes, the Kings went on a tear in the final five minutes with Brownlee spearheading a 13-0 blast that all but broke the Dragons' backs to come away with the hard-earned win.

The Ginebra resident import showed great resolve and unloaded 19 of his 34 points in the final frame to will the Kings back into the game after trailing by as many as 14 points early on.

Brownlee completed an all-around night with 17 rebounds, four assists and three steals while Scottie Thompson added a double-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. Christian Standhardinger was the other double-digit scorer for Ginebra with 15.

The Kings were staring at a comfortable nine-point hole, 75-66, in the final frame before Brownlee tried to pump some life to their cause with six straight points to come within three, 75-72.

Kobey Lam answered back with back-to-back hits for Bay Area before the Kings unloaded the telling run ignited by two Brownlee free-throws he got after picking up Hayden Blankley’s sixth and final foul.

LA Tenorio nailed a triple, Brownlee buried a jumper before Thompson scored on a putback and Jamie Malonzo drilled a triple that put Ginebra ahead by five, 84-79.

Ginebra limited Andrew Nicholson to his conference low for the third time in their four meetings, this time just 23 points before exiting the game with 31 seconds left after tweaking his ankle in a rebound play.

Lam had 17 points while Zhu Songwei was again saddled by foul trouble and could only muster 12 points.