Dragons outlast Hotshots to take over top spot

Bay Area proved to be a too tough a nut to crack for Magnolia as the guest team dominated from Hotshots from start to finish and eked out a 95-89 victory in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup, Saturday night at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

The Dragons improved to 9-2 following the close win and took over the top spot while the Chito Victolero-mentored squad fell into a tie for second place with Converge after absorbing their 2nd loss in 10 outings.

Myles Powell paced the Hong Kong based team with 32 points highlighted by 5-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc to go with 11 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 43 minutes of action.

“It was hard. They were the best team in the league. We knew they will give us a good test coming in. All week, coach put us to the test. We had hard practice. We knew it’s going to be a war and we are going to fight,” said Powell during the post-game press conference.

Glen Yang led the local charge for the Dragons with 19 points, 5 boards, 6 assists and 2 steals while Zhu Songwei added 15 markers, 7 boards and 5 dimes.

“We were once tested by Tim Cone’s team. They’re similar, and they dominated us. And we worked for this opportunity again to see where we’ve gone. It’s a young team, it’s a new team and they’re warriors,” said Bay Area head coach Brian Goorjian.

“They played great basketball but that’s the best we’ve played, that’s the toughest we’ve played, and that’s been a nice eye opener for me — the growth in those young guys along with Myles,” he added.

Nick Rakocevic led the Hotshots with another double-double of 26 points and 19 boards to go with an assist, a steal and 2 blocks in 45 minutes of play. Jio Jalalon finished with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals while Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang added 15 and 8 markers, respectively.

Magnolia will try once more to secure win number 9 when they take on the surging Meralco Bolts on Sunday, November 27, 4:30pm at the same venue.

The scores:

Bay Area 95 – Powell 32, Yang 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.

Quarterscores: 25-21, 47-44, 73-64, 95-89

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