Dragons activate Powell, fight for survival

A big crowd is expected to pack the Big Dome in anticipation of a massive Kings celebration that will signal their return to throne

Myles Powell will be rejoining Bay Area when it battles Ginebra in Game 6 of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven finals series. Photo by Rio Deluvio

Game Wednesday:

(Smart Araneta Coliseum)

5:45 p.m. – Bay Area vs Ginebra

Bay Area will be deploying its last action hero – Myles Powell – in a last-ditch effort to turn its fortunes around when it battles Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in Game 6 of their Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven semifinal series on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Game time is set at 5:45 p.m. with the Dragons banking on the explosive former National Basketball Association playmaker to keep their flickering hopes alive against a Kings squad that is ready to go for the kill to collect their 15th PBA title.

Powell, who scored 50 points in an eliminations game against Rain or Shine, is tipped to man the backcourt after being placed on the injured list before the playoffs due to an acute hyperextended toe.

He will have an able backup at the firing end in Glenn Yang, who will also get activated after missing the fifth game of the title series due to a sprained ankle that he sustained in the closing minutes of Game 4, which the Dragons won without import Andrew Nicholson.

But his absence, along with Nicholson, was greatly felt in Game 5 as the Kings dominated them, 101-91, last Sunday.

Nicholson has averaged 26.67 points and a series-best 17 rebounds on top of his steady 57.41 percent shooting in the first three games before getting injured in the latter stretch of Game 3.

Yang, on the other hand, averaged 11.5 points, 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 44 minutes of action and his return would certainly provide the Dragons the calming presence at the point guard spot.

Nicholson’s condition isn’t playable, forcing Bay Area to reinsert Powell and give the Dragons a different look, hoping it would somehow disrupt the defensive game plan of the Kings.

But if there’s one great quality the Kings have developed through the years under head coach Tim Cone, it is the killer’s instinct and they are ready to go for the kill and close out the series.

A big crowd is expected to pack the Big Dome in anticipation of a massive Kings celebration that will signal their return to throne.

In Game 5, the Kings didn’t take any chances, striking back with a more dominant performance against the visitors, who are chasing history and trying to become the first foreign squad to win the PBA crown in 42 years.

Stanley Pringle was at his best, coming off the bench to deliver 20 points, including the back-to-back three-point bombs in the final stretch that demoralized the Dragons.

Pringle, who hit 6-of-9 treys in Game 5, has been the leading three-point shooter in the championship series with a 57.89 percent shooting despite being reduced to a role player.

With Pringle providing the spark off the bench, import Justin Brownlee and the rest of the Kings were able to make up for their botched performance in Game 4 when they lost to the import-less Dragons.

Also stepping up big in Game 5 was Japeth Aguilar.

Aguilar was reduced to playing the role as reliever to Christian Standhardinger for the most part of the series but was able to raise his game to higher level in the last two games.

In the first three games of the series, Aguilar has averaged only 4.66 points and 3.33 rebounds, but improved his numbers in the last two games with 12 points and six rebounds per game.

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