MANILA, Philippines – Guest team Bay Area wrested the top spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup from Magnolia after a grind-out 95-89 win at the PhilSports Arena on Saturday, November 19.
Import Myles Powell delivered 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 steals as the Dragons weathered the Hotshots’ comeback storm to hike their record to 9-2 and claim the pole position with the elimination round nearing the homestretch.
Bay Area enjoyed a 17-point lead midway through the third frame, but Magnolia fought back and got within a single possession, 79-82, with six minutes left behind the 4th-quarter heroics of Jio Jalalon and Nick Rakocevic.
Jalalon and Rakocevic both chalked up 11 points in the last salvo.
But the Dragons banked on some timely Powell buckets late to keep the Hotshots at bay as they enhanced their bid for a twice-to-beat quarterfinals bonus.
Powell scored 7 of his 11 4th-quarter points in the final five minutes before Zhu Songwei drained all of his last four free throws to secure the win for Bay Area.
Zhu finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Glenn Yang backstopped Powell in scoring with 19 points, including a full-court buzzer-beater to end the opening frame, on top of 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.
That Hail Mary shot from Yang gave the Dragons a slim 25-21 lead before they pulled away in the 3rd quarter and grabbed a 69-52 advantage – their biggest of the game.
Rakocevic finished with 26 points, 19 rebounds, and 2 blocks for Magnolia, which slipped to joint second place with Converge after falling to 8-2.
Jalalon posted 19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals, while Paul Lee contributed 15 points and 5 rebounds in the loss.
Bay Area 95 – Powell 32, Tang 19, Zhu 15, Ju 8, Liu 8, Reid 6, Blankley 5, Lam 2, Zheng 0.
Magnolia 89 – Rakocevic 26, Jalalon 19, Lee 15, Sangalang 8, Ahanmisi 6, Abueva 4, Dela Rosa 3, Dionisio 3, Wong 3, Barroca 2, Reavis 0, Corpuz 0.
Quarters: 25-21, 47-44, 73-64, 95-89.