3 p.m. — Terrafirma vs Converge
5:45 p.m. — NLEX vs Rain or Shine
FIRE-breathing Hong Kong guest team Bay Area Dragons quickly issued a strong warning of a mighty invasion force arriving in the PBA.
Powered by Myles Powell’s 41-point sizzler, the debuting Dragons burned Blackwater to the ground, 133-87, for a flying start in the Commissioner’s Cup yesterday at the MOA Arena.
The 6-foot-2 Mr. Powell, the squad’s import in its first four assignments, ran rings against the Bossing’s defenders and converted half of his 28 attempts to provide the big spark as the debutants ripped the game apart right in the first quarter, 36-19.
With Glen Yang (22), Zhu Songwei (13), Kobey Lam (13) and Hayden Blankley (11) joining Mr. Powell in a relentless assault, the Dragons went on to post the all-time biggest win margin of 46 by a guest team in PBA history.
Coach Brian Goorjian’s red-hot charges, who have been based in the country since August, also handed the Bossing their worst franchise loss ever.
“We’re honored to be involved in this great league and we hope to be a great team,” said Mr. Goorjian, whose troops are looking to be the first guest entry to go all the way to the PBA diadem since Northern Cement in the 1985 Reinforced Conference.
“I knew how great this league is and how great the top teams are. So we just want to come in and show the country that we’re here to help basketball.
“We want to learn, grow and present something to this public that’s entertaining. I hope we grow as a team that gets good over the stretch and compete against the San Miguels and TNTs,” he added.
Mr. Powell, a former player of the Sixers in the NBA, led Bay Area’s scorching 47-of-85 field goal shooting (55.3 percent) highlighted by a 16-of-39 (41 percent) three-point marksmanship.
“Everybody’s locked in. Whatever coach asked us to, that’s what we did and it showed tonight,” said Mr. Powell, the shortest among the imports in the mid-season tourney with a height limit of 6-foot-10. “We do everything together. There’s no distinction between imports or Chinese. We have a good group of guys who just want to lock in and win and that makes everything easier.
Blackwater did not get much from Mr. Powell’s counterpart, Cameron Krutwig, who managed only 11, making only five of his 16 shots, but grabbed 12 rebounds.
Rookie Ato Ular turned in a 13-14 double-double for the Bossing, who opted to give trade acquisition Troy Rosario a rest in the opener. Gab Banal, the other new arrival out of the blockbuster trade involving Blackwater, TNT and NLEX, saw action for 17 minutes but went scoreless. — Olmin Leyba
Bay Area 133 — Powell 41, Yang 22, Zhu 13, Lam 13, Blankley 11, Liu 9, Zheng 7, Reid 5, Song 5, Liang 3, Ewing 3, Ju 1
Blackwater 87 — Ular 13, Krutwig 11, McCarthy 11, Amer 10, Ayonayon 10, Taha 8, Jackson 8, Go 5, Sena 3, Dyke 3, Suerte 3, Publico 2, Ebona 0, Banal 0
Quarterscores 36-19, 64-36, 97-76, 133-87