Myles Powell displayed his offensive prowess as he powered guest team Bay Area to a 46-point crushing of Blackwater, 133-87, in the opening salvo of the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday, 21 September at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Powell, the 6-foot-2 playmaker who played 11 games for the Philadelphia 76ers in the previous National Basketball Association season, immediately made his presence felt as he fired 41 points to tow the Dragons to the league’s most lopsided victory since the 120-73 triumph of Star over Meralco in the Philippine Cup in 2017.
The 46-point massacre was also the 10th all-time biggest winning margin in league history.
By halftime, Powell already had 26 points to lead the Dragons to a 64-36 spread – the biggest lead posted by any team in the first 24 minutes of action since TNT posted a 70-42 lead over Converge in the Philippine Cup eliminations last 27 July.
Powell was determined to put on a show and maximized the time that he’s being used as an import of the Dragons.
Under PBA rules, the Dragons can only use one import at a time, and Powell, who was delegated to reinforce the team until after the next three games, wasted no time to flex his offensive might.
Bay Area’s other import, fellow NBA veteran Andrew Nicholson, will play after four games to sub in for Powell.
Four other players ended up in double figures for Bay Area – Glen Robertson Yang, Songwei Zhu, Kobey Ketavong Lam and Hayden Joel Blankley.
Yang contributed 22 points, Zhu and Lam had 13 points apiece and Blankley chipped in 11 for the Dragons, who shot a steady 55 percent from the field (47-of-85) compared to only 34 percent (32-of-93) for the Bossing.
Bay Area also outscored Blackwater by 20 points, 54-34, inside the shaded lane.
Dragons coach Brian Goorjian said they did their homework and prepared for the quickness of the Filipinos.
“We’ve struggled being here guarding the quickness that the Filipino league has,” Goorjian, an Olympic veteran, said.
“That has been our focus and I thought at the start of the game, our defense was good. We did a good job on the on-balls, and on the defensive end, we clicked.”
Blackwater, which made a good run all the way to the playoffs in the Philippine Cup, struggled offensively and hit only 28 percent from the field by half time.
The Bossing, however, were depleted as they decided not to field Troy Rosario, their newest acquisition from a three-way trade completed recently involving top overall rookie pick Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and Calvin Oftana.
The veteran stretch big was in uniform but was not used the entire game by head coach Ariel Vanguardia, who drew 13 points and 14 rebounds from Ato Ular and 11 points from Rashawn McCarthy.
To make matters worse, Bossing import Cameron Krutwig hardly made an impact despite coming up with a near triple-double performance of 11 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
The 6-foot-8 Krutwig, a first-time competitor in Asian leagues, hit only 5-of-16 shots from the field.
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, Jackson 8, Taha 8, Go 5, Suerte 3, Dyke 3, Sena 3, Publico 2, Banal 0, Ebona 0.
Quarterscores: 36-19; 64-36; 97-65; 133-87
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