Jan 16, 2023

Game 7 of Ginebra-Bay Area finals sets new PBA record attendance

THERE was no doubt it's going to be a blockbuster of a series.

As expected, the entire Barangay Ginebra-Bay Area Dragons PBA Commissioner's Cup finals drew a record attendance, capped by the largest crowd ever in league history during the deciding Game 7 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

The Kings kept Philippine pride intact after slaying the Dragons, 114-99, to win the championship before a live audience of 54,589 at the world's largest indoor stadium.

The numbers surpassed the previous record of 54,086 who came to watch Game 7 of the 2017 Governors' Cup finals won by Barangay Ginebra over Meralco.

Commissioner Willie Marcial expressed gratitude to PBA fans for making it happened.

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"Siyempre taos puso tayong nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng fans na tumangkilik sa ating Commissioner's Cup finals. Kung hindi dahil sa kanila, hindi natin magagawa ito," he said.

Game 1 of the best-of-seven series easily set the tone of the finals as it attracted a crowd of 18,252 on Christmas Day, which the Kings won in runaway fashion, 96-81.

Only Game 3 had the lowest registered attendance in the title series pegged at 15,004 as the Kings rallied back to author an 89-82 come-from-behind victory.

But the finals eventually picked up from thereon, drawing back-to-back 20,000-plus attendance in Game 5 (21,823 at Mall of Asia Arena) and Game 6 (22,361 at Smart Araneta Coliseum), respectively.

In all, the first six games of the series averaged an attendance of 18,453.

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But the entire finals itself drew an average crowd of 23,615. (RG)