Playing its final game of the elimination round, visiting Bay Area left a strong impression on its title aspirations.
The Dragons handed favorite — but banged up — TNT a 32-point beat down, 140-108, as the expected explosive encounter turned out to be a one-sided affair in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at the Philsports Arena.
Bay Area’s 140-point output was the season-high posted by a PBA team, but it was also the highest by any team since San Miguel Beer routed Columbian Dyip, 143-119, on 21 September of the 2018 Governors’ Cup.
In ending the elimination round with a 10-2 win-loss card, Bay Area assured itself of a top two berth that bears a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinal round pending the results of the remaining games of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Magnolia.
For the Tropang Giga, the losses kept piling up, putting themselves in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2018 Governors’ Cup.
TNT has been in the playoffs for seven straight conferences, making the championship round three times and winning the Philippine Cup last season.
But the 32-point whipping was the worst suffered by the squad since the team dropped a 72-108 setback at the hands of Alaska in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal round.
TNT played without ace guard Jayson Castro, who was sidelined by a left ankle injury.
Castro is still unsure if he can play their final game in the elimination round against powerhouse San Miguel Beer in a rematch of the recent Philippine Cup finale.
“It’s my take off ankle, so it’s really difficult for me to put pressure on it,” said Castro in a telephone conversation with Daily Tribune.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to play on Saturday.”
Just as expected, Myles Powell came out with guns blazing, scoring 37 points on 6-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc while also adding seven assists, six rebounds and a steal.
Similarly, Bay Area had to pull out Powell and decided to rest the flamboyant guard the entire fourth period when the guest squad practically had the game in full control.
Kobey Lam picked up from where Powell left off as he added 30 markers om 6-of-12 shooting from the three-point region.
BAY AREA 140 – Powell 37, Lam 30, Zhu 22, Zheng 16, Reid 10, Yang 9, Song 7, Blankley 3, Ju 2, Liu 0, Zhang 0, Liang 0
TNT 108 – Mobley 38, Pogoy 16, Erram 16, Tungcab 13, M. Williams 11, Ogtana 9, Soyud 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Marcelo 2, Khobuntin 0, K. Williams 0, Cruz 0, Heruela 0
QUARTERS: 34-24, 80-60, 109-82, 140-108
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