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Monday, April 22, 2024

Dragons to face ‘different’ Beermen in semis

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THE top-seeded Hong Kong Bay Area Dragons brace for a potential classic semifinal showdown with No. 4 San Miguel Beer on Wednesday at the start of their best-of-five semifinal series in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Riding their impressive run  in the elimination and quarterfinals, 6-foot-10 former Orlando Magic Andrew Nicholson is expected to be in the middle of a showdown of “bigs” in their 3 p.m. encounter with the Beermen.

“He [June Mar Fajardo] is tall and I expect a good game from him,” said Nicholson, who subbed for 6-foot-2 Myles Powell who sprained his ankle last week. “I’m also looking forward to a strong match up.”

Nicholson posted 32 points in first three quarters before sitting the entire fourth period and Hayden Joel Blankley had 47 points in the Dragons’ 126-96 rout of Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals.

But Bay Area Dragons coach Brian Goorjian said their 113-87 victory over the Beermen in their first clash last October 16 was thrown out the window.

“This is not the same San Miguel Beer anymore that we saw in the regular season with the return of scorer Terrence Romeo and big man June Mar Fajardo,” Goorjian said. “It’s going to be a real challenge for us.”

San Miguel Beer, which beat Converge twice in their best-of-five quarterfinals last week to reach the semifinal, has adequate firepower from CJ Perez, Mo Tautuaa, Marcio Lassiter and Vic Manuel to match up Hong Kong’s wrecking crew.

Magnolia and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel collide in Game 1 of their own semifinal series at 5:45 p.m.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone of Ginebra expects war with the Hotshots.

“We have had so many battles with that team,” Cone said. “We know them well, they know us well and they know what we like to do.”

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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