Myles Powell drilled a tough step-back trey at the buzzer as Bay Area escaped the fangs of defeat against an upset-minded NorthPort side, 105-104, to stay unbeaten in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, Sept. 24.
With the Batang Pier up by two, 104-102 with six seconds left, the Dragons scrambled to bring the ball to the front court and took four more seconds before they managed to hand the ball to Powell.
The former NBA player then showed steely nerves as he took the ball with two ticks left before maneuvering towards the left wing where he took the gutsy triple over the outstretched arms of 6-foot-10 NorthPort import Prince Ibeh.
The huge triple capped off an impressive second half from Powell who exploded for 28 points after getting limited to just nine in the first two quarters to finish with 37 points and six rebounds.
The shot also came, not just as saving grace for the Dragons, but also as a redeemer of some sort for Powell who turned the ball over Roi Sumang several possessions prior that gave the Batang Pier a 104-102 edge with 1:09 left.
“When we lost the lead, everybody came back and to the huddle we just said we needed a stop and we just executed. We got the stop and we came down. they put the ball in my hands and that's game time,” said Powell who was overcome by emotions during the post-game presser.
For Bay Area head coach Brian Goorjian, the win was also a wake-up call for the Dragons, noting that PBA teams are no pushovers.
“First game is not a concern if we win by 45 points and everybody thinks you're something but you're not and tonight it showed everybody that this is going to be good basketball,” said Goorjian.
After Bay Area’s rousing debut where it manhandled Blackwater with a 46-point drubbing, the Batang Pier made the Dragons bleed and were actually standing tooth-and-nails behind the one-two punch of Robert Bolick and Arvin Tolentino.
Bolick had a monster game for himself with 33 points while Arvin Tolentino backstopped him with 22 points and 10 rebounds including the crucial offensive board he got with 26 seconds left.
The Batang Pier had the chance to pad the lead and put on the dagger to the heart of the Dragons but Sumang missed the trey allowing Bay Area to get the last shot of the ball game.