Bay Area def Magnolia, 95-89 [Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup | Nov. 19, 2022]

Both clearing the pathway to the playoffs in their last outings, the Magnolia Hotshots and the Bay Area Dragons now pursue the road to the Top 2 as they slug it out Saturday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

The Hotshots and the Dragons square off at 6:45 p.m. in a vital tiff where the winning side secures at least a tie for second spot at the close of the one-round-robin elims phase of the mid-season tourney.

Dragons coach Brian Goorjian is vocal in their desire to reach that destination and its reward of a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.

“We have the opportunity to finish first or second and get the advantage of a double try in the first round of the playoffs and we’re focused on that,” said Goorjian after nailing their eighth win in 10 outings with a 118-98 disposal of the NLEX Road Warriors Sunday.

Now comes a big game that is a virtual playoff match.

The Hotshots set the pace in the race to the top at 8-1, with the Dragons a shade behind at joint second spot with the Converge FiberXers at 8-2. A fourth team in the rumble for the Top 2 are the Barangay Ginebra Kings at 5-2.

Nick Rakocevic could be a big edge for the Hotshots at the paint but Myles Powell is to pose a big problem to Magnolia with his great all-around talent topped by his explosiveness offensively.

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