Kobey Lam played hero and stepped up in the absence of Andrew Nicholson as Bay Area showed grit and steady resolve to stun Ginebra, 94-86, and level the series in Game 4 of the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, Jan. 6.
Lam exploded for 30 points including a couple of big hits late in the final five minutes to douse another looming Kings rally that allowed them to avoid falling into a 3-1 hole and forge a virtual best-of-three affair.
Lam fired eight triples, two of which came during a 7-0 personal run that gave the Dragons a 12-point cushion, 84-72, after the Kings came within four points.
Zhu Songwei provided ample support to Lam with 18 points and nine rebounds while Glen Yang asserted himself more on the offensive end to also finish with 18 points.
Without either Nicholson and Myles Powell who both served as the focal point of the Bay Area’s offense when they are available, the Dragons struggled to get their offensive rhythm in the first half shooting just 29 percent from the field in the first two quarters.
Fortunately for Bay Area, it only trailed by just eight at the break, 46-38, as Ginebra failed to capitalize on Nicholson’s absence after playing a sluggish first half.
That actually turned out to be an early warning sign to an impending disaster about to strike at the Kings as the Dragons, spearheaded by Lam, finally found their mark from beyond the arc.
A 9-2 spurt to open the payoff period was Bay Area only needed to seize control of the contest and take a lead they never relinquished the rest of the way.
Justin Brownlee showed why he was adjudged as the Best Import in the mid-season conference, scattering a triple-double line of 23 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. Best Player of the Conference awardee Scottie Thompson also added 18 points, six assists and five rebounds -- all of which went down the drain.