MANILA, Philippines – In a stunning development, the Bay Area Dragons have reactivated import Myles Powell to replace the injured Andrew Nicholson for their do-or-die PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals Game 6 against Barangay Ginebra, the league reported on its transactions page on Tuesday, January 10.
Assistant coach Cholo Villanueva confirmed that the team will indeed give Powell playing time as opposed to just a mere roster activation, contradicting what head coach Brian Goorjian said about his import’s fate after Game 4 just last Friday, January 6.
“Myles is a done deal, that isn’t happening. Myles snapped something in his foot. There’s a timeframe on it,” Goorjian, also the Australia national team head coach, had said.
“He’s been in the weight room. He’s been doing some strength work, but he’s not ready to step on the floor. It’s snapped. He has a six- to eight-week proposition and then he needs some practice. He was never an option. Never an option.”
Clearly, Bay Area is pushing the panic button with no losses left to spare in the finals as it has just been a month into Powell’s rehabilitation from a “severe” left foot injury. Nicholson, meanwhile, likely received a similarly grave diagnosis on his left ankle, forcing the Dragons to make a last-minute switch.
When fully healthy, the 6-foot-2 Powell is an unmatched offensive dynamo. The former NBA player is leading the PBA with a blistering 37.3 points per game average on 49% shooting and 43% from three, to go with 8.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals.
Powell’s return may spell trouble for a Ginebra side already on the cusp of its fourth title in six conferences, as team captain and league “Iron Man” LA Tenorio is battling a groin strain he suffered in the Gin Kings’ Game 5 win last Sunday, January 8.
Although Tenorio will likely endure the pain to help bring an end to the conference on Wednesday, January 11, look for Ginebra head coach Tim Cone to give a bigger role to the resurgent Stanley Pringle and reserve Nards Pinto to possibly contain Powell’s explosive tendencies.
Goorjian, meanwhile, will have no time to celebrate his import’s return as Bay Area key cogs Glen Yang and Hayden Blankley are still battling their own injuries heading into Game 6 at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com