The Bay Area Dragons stint in the Commissioner’s Cup has not only stoked the fire among local ball clubs but also increased PBA awareness among Chinese hoops fans.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial noted how the Dragons’ participation in the conference has been followed by fans across the world and especially in mainland China.
The Dragons won their first four games in the PBA before bowing to Barangay Ginebra, 111-93, in front of the latter’s roaring “Sixth Man.” the other day. Gin Kings coach Tim Cone shared that defending home turf against a foreign power served as a strong driving force. “We’re not only representing Ginebra, we’re representing the whole league and in many ways, we’re representing the country so we want to come out and really show up,” he said.
The one-sided result put an end to Bay Area’s chokehold on Philippine squads, which stretched back to seven more games in the pre-season. “They have been beating everybody up – they won four games here and seven more in the pre-season so we wanted to come out (and end that),” said Cone. Facing Goorjian, the strategist who steered Australia to bronze in the Tokyo Olympics, is also an exciting proposition for Cone and his PBA colleagues. “Such an honor to coach against Brian Goorjian,” he said.
On September 21 this year, the Bay Area Dragons kicked off their season in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup as the first guest ball club the league has seen in the past 19 years. Some quick facts about guest teams in the PBA:
🥇 In 1980, Nicholas Stoodley, a team composed of American players became the first guest club to win a PBA title.
🌏 In the 1980’s, Northern Consolidated Corporation joined multiple conferences and advanced to the semi-finals numerous times.
🏆 The last Invitational Championship was held in 2003 with all four guest teams missing the playoffs.
🇵🇭 A national team pool would not make it to the playoffs of a PBA tournament until the 2011 Commissioner's Cup, when Smart-Gilas finished fourth.
🐉 The Dragons quickly made history during opening night, beating the Blackwater Bossing by a score of 133 to 87, which was the 10th biggest win margin in PBA history as well as the biggest margin ever by a guest team. Team star Myles Powell finished the game with 41 points and 8 rebounds in under 30 minutes of time on the floor.
The Dragons are now 4-1, good for second place overall in the PBA standings. The Dragons continue to push to become one of the best guest ball clubs in history!