Dragons score when Powell scores again with a 50-piece fall

Myles Powell (Bay Area Dragon No. 13) was head and shoulders above everyone else on Friday. —PBA PHOTOS

After seeing rousing performances from his returning import and convincing efforts from the rest of the squad, coach Brian Goorjian is now setting his sights on making sure the Bay Area Dragons have an easier path to the playoffs.

“It’s a huge advantage to finish in the top two,” Goorjian said after the Dragons blanked the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters with a 120-87 victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

“We’re going to do everything we can to try and finish in the top two,” added the Dragons mentor, whose side have three games left in the knockout stage midway through the competition.

Well, another similar performance from Myles Powell will surely boost the Dragons’ goal of getting one of two two-times to hit the bonus in the first round of the playoffs.

Powell, who returned after Andrew Nicholson played the import role the last four games, had 50 points as Bay Area picked up its seventh win and tied idle Converge for second place.

Bay Area will have a quick turnaround as it plays NLEX on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum before taking on leaders Magnolia in November. 19 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

The Dragons wrap things up in November. 23 also at the site formerly known as ULTRA as they battle the TNT Tropang Giga.

Goorjian feels his team is starting to play well as a unit, with the way Bay Area performed against Rain or Shine.

Powell’s 50 was well above his average of 35.8 points in the first four conference games before handing the baton to Andrew Nicholson, who last week also dropped 50 in a loss to Meralco.

Powell made 11 3-pointers, tied for third all-time, before his work was done with two minutes left in the third. It was a performance that even surprised Powell, who had the difficult task of having to watch from the sidelines and train for a month under the watchful eye of Dragons training coach Francesco Berre.

“There’s been days where I’ve woken up at 8 in the morning and not felt it, but he pushed me to the limit,” Powell said, referring to Berre.

“He just told me to stay locked in and keep focusing on my body. And with the help of the coaching staff and Francesco, they helped me stay focused and locked in,” the former Philadelphia 76ers tight end added.

“The Best Game”

The rest of the Dragons followed the lead of Powell, 7-foot-5 Liu Chuanxing, who had 11 points and 9 rebounds against a tough Elasto Painters defense underneath.

“My two Americans can play, of course. But the others – the Chinese [players] which have been mentioned here [and] the kids from Hong Kong — they’re playing against faster and often more mature, tougher guys and they’re growing, they’re getting better,” Goorjian said.

“Tonight was by far the best game we played together as a team on both ends of the floor,” he added.

The loss dropped Rain or Shine to seventh place with NorthPort at 4-5 (win-loss) and featured a rough debut for freshman Ryan Pearson, who had just nine points on 2-of-7 shooting with two rebounds, two. assists and two steals while turning the ball over three times. INQ

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