February 2, 2023

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Myles Powell, Dragons force Game 7 in PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals

5 min read

Returning Myles Powell led Bay Area Dragons’ 87-84 great escape victory in Game 6 amid Wednesday’s sellout crowd of 22,000 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to force a do-or-die match in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven championship series.

Bay Area coach Brian Goorjian rose from a kneeling position and raised his fists in the air before locking Powell in a tight embrace as Barangay Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar misfired a supposedly game-tying buzzer-beating three-point attempt.

Goorjian said, “I had exhausted bodies on the floor, and what we do and how we play to stay with this team is exhausting. [Powell] is not in a condition to walk into something like that. It’s total will – his will.”

“He’s shown this, his spirit is incredible, and our guys, our young kids know about him, and there’s somebody to play off. We put the ball in his hands in the last five minutes of the game when we went down seven points, and he took us to the promised land. So we got another one,” he added.”

Myles Powell returned from an injury with an explosive Game 6 performance for the Bay Area Dragons to force a sudden death encounter with Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup race-to-four title series. The championship is tied at 3-3. PBA PHOTO 

Powell, coming back from an injury, exploded with 29 points in 35 minutes of action, including the Dragons’ last six points in the dying minutes of the Gin Kings’ foiled title win. He provided the much-needed spark and firepower to force a 3-3 draw and send the series to Game 7.

The Dragons erased a seven-point deficit late in the fourth after Ginebra recovered from a 12-point third-quarter setback behind resident import Justin Brownlee and Christian Standhardinger.

Powell and Hayden Blankley led the Dragons’ searing rally to force a sudden death at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on Sunday, January 15. PBA management moved the Game 7 schedule from its original Friday playdate.

Hyden Blankley shoots a three for the Bay Area Dragons. PBA PHOTO

Powell, a former NBA Philadelphia Sixer Powell, is no stranger to this kind of finish in one of the league’s incredible title series.

Blankley chipped in 23 markers, while Zhu Songwei and Glen Yang scored identical 10 points.

From the Ginebra side, Brownlee finished with 37 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds, while Standhardinger made 12. Aguilar had 12 as Game 5 stars Scottie Thompson and Stanley Pringle each had eight points.

The Dragons spread the floor after Powell caught much attention on defense, allowing them to lead most of the way. They converted 17 three-pointers out of 36 attempts.

Myles Powell returned from an injury with an explosive Game 6 performance for the Bay Area Dragons to force a sudden death encounter with Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup race-to-four title series. The championship is tied at 3-3. PBA PHOTO

With only two minutes and 37 seconds left in the game, Powell’s back-to-back layups gave Bay Area an 85-82 advantage before Brownlee fired the Kings’ final shot. A string of errors that followed sealed Ginebra’s fate and gave the Bay Area another lease of life.

The Kings lost the match in missed triples, including that of Aguilar’s at the buzzer.

Ginebra shook off a disappointing first-half performance and erupted with a 16-point blast to snatch a 62-61 lead in the third quarter behind Brownlee’s heroics. But Powell spoiled the Kings’ fun as he proved to be unstoppable at the stretch, keeping the Dragons’ title hopes alive.

With Powell as an import, Bay Area never lost a match in nine games.

The box scores:

Bay Area 87 — Powell 29, Blankley 23, Yang 10, Zhu 10, Lam 9, Liu 4, Reid 2, Zheng 0, Ju 0.

Ginebra 84 — Brownlee 37, J.Aguilar 12, Standhardinger 12, Thompson 8, Pringle 8, Malonzo 4, Pinto 3, Tenorio 0, Gray 0.

Quarters: 25-20, 50-42, 66-64, 87-84.

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