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PBA: Myles Powell pushes Bay Area past Magnolia for first place

Bay Area Dragons guard Myles Powell shoots against the Magnolia Hotshots. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Bay Area took everything Magnolia could offer all of Saturday night and still managed to prevail, 95-89, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Myles Powell hit one tough basket after another late in the final frame to repel the Hotshots’ spirited tries at a comeback, ultimately helping the Dragons to the top spot of the leaderboard.

“We knew what was at stake all week. We just came off of two big victories and like said, we knew coming up that if we win our next two games we’re coming up to the first place,” he said during the post-game presser.

“I think that’s pretty much how it went: He made plays during it but during crunch time … the ball was in his hands to decide the game,” head coach Brian Goorjian said of his ward, who finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and a pair of steals.

Glen Yang chipped in 19 points while Zhu Songwei 15 more to help the visitors swap places with Magnolia, which absorbed its second loss in 10 outings.

Import Nick Rakocevic had 26 points, 19 rebounds and two blocks, while Jio Jalalon added 19 points and six rebounds, both figuring in a late fightback that helped Magnolia nearly erase a 17-point deficit.

Paul Lee pumped in 15 more for the Hotshots who pulled within 93-89 in the final 24 seconds of the contest.

Bay Area wraps its elimination phase against 4-5 TNT on Wednesday next week.

Magnolia, meanwhile, will have two more games left in its schedule—versus Meralco and then Rain or Shine— with a return to the No. 1 seed remaining a possibility.

The top two finishers of the eliminations head into the playoff round with twice-to-beat protection.

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