The Bay Area Dragons returned to their winning ways by crushing Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 120-87, while the Meralco Bolts grabbed its second straight victory after beating Blackwater Bossing, 102-98, in overtime Friday (November 11) as PBA Commissioner’s Cup resumed at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Former Philadelphia 76ers guard Myles Powell was unstoppable, scattering 50 points in his return. He went 15-of-25 from the field, including 11 triples for the Bay Dragons to bounce back strong from a heartbreaking 89-92 loss to the Bolts last week.
The Bay Dragons currently tie with Converge FiberXers in second place of the current team standings with identical 7-2 win-loss marks.
Powell, whose import slot was taken by Andrew Nicholson in the last four games, did not show any rust after his month-long break.
“I was excited to be there with my brothers,” he said.
Bay Area coach high praise
Bay Area coach Brian Goorjian lauded Powell and the team’s strength and conditioning coach for ensuring Powell keeps his tip-top shape.
Goorjian said, “I thought the big thing is keeping these guys engaged even when they’re not playing. You can see what he did tonight, he hasn’t lost (a step) and he’s probably gained during that period of time.”
He said the Powell-powered Dragons aim to sweep their remaining elimination round games and earn a win-once advantage in the quarterfinals. “We believe we have a real shake at this and a real shake at finishing at the top two,” he said, confident that Powell will lead them to that point and that they will go from there.
“There’s a huge advantage at finishing at the top two… so we’re gonna do everything we can to try to get that top two position,” Goorjian said.
Bay Area coaches sat out Powell at the end of the third quarter after bringing the Dragons to an 87-58 advantage.
The Dragons fended off any E-Painters’ rally attempts and kept their momentum to hand Rain or Shine its fifth loss in nine games at seventh place alongside NorthPort.
Replacing Steve Taylor with Ryan Pearson did not bode well for Rain or Shine although the latter may probably be suffering from jet lag due to a 26-hour flight from New York that ended Thursday evening. He only played for 28 minutes and finished with just nine points.
Anton Asistio and Rey Nambatac sank 20 and 12 points, respectively, for the E-Painters.
KJ McDaniel win for the Bolts
Meanwhile, new import KJ McDaniels-powered Bolts needed a five-minute extension to outlast the fierce-fighting but depleted Bossing.
The Bolts wasted a 13-point edge in the fourth period but recovered their lead in overtime, en route to winning their third game in eight outings.
Allein Maliksi buried a go-ahead trey then Aaron Black and McDaniels drained crucial charities for the Bolts who shocked the Bay Are Dragons, 92-89, last week.
Coach Norman Black said, “We’re still far from being a playoff contender. We face a difficult road ahead, but at least we gave ourselves a chance.”
He said McDaniels, although a seasoned player, is not yet in shape when contacted by the Bolts’ management.
“We want to keep improving. And if we can get KJ in better shape, we’ll become a better team,” Black added.
The box score:
Bay Area 120 – Powell 50, Liu 11, Song 9, Lam 9, Ju 7, Blankley 6, Zhu 6, Ewing 6, Si 6, Zheng 4, Yang 2, Zhang 2, Reid 2, Liang 0.
Rain or Shine 87 – Asistio 20, Nambatac 12, Pearson 9, Norwood 9, Nieto 8, Belga 6, Caracut 5, Ponferrada 5, Santillan 4, Clarito 3, Torres 2, Borboran 2, Demusis 2, Guinto 0, Mamuyac 0, Ildefonso 0.
Quarters: 28-27, 57-42, 87-58, 120-87
Meralco 102 – McDaniels 26, Black 18, Bancheo 17, Maliksi 16, Quinto 12, Pasaol 6, Caram 4, Pascual 3, Almazan 0, Hodge 0.
Blackwater 98 – Krutwig 23, Ular 15, Banal 14, Jackson 14, Ayonayon 11, Taha 8, McCarthy 7,
Melton 3, Suerte 3, Dyke 0, Sena 0, Ebona 0.
Quarters: 21-15, 42-41, 67-64, 89-89, 102-98