Bay Area thrashes TNT, puts lock on twice-to-beat incentive

Myles Powell and Songwei Zhu provided a lethal combination in the first half as Bay Area thumped TNT, 140-108, to lock in on one of the two coveted twice-to-beat incentives in the 2022 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 23.

Myles Powell leads Bay Area with another rousing performance (PBA Images)

The two were at the forefront of the searing first half for the fire-breathing Dragons, combining for 49 of their 80 points – the most scored so far by a team in one half alone this season.

That practically set the tone for Bay Area as after taking a comfortable 20 point lead at the break, 80-60, the Dragons never looked back and even padded the lead to as many as 38 points in the ensuing quarters despite the rousing debut from TNT new import Matt Mobley.

When the smoke settled, Bay Area ended up finishing with the season-best scoring with its 140 points, still led by Powell who unloaded 37 points built on six triples to go along with his seven assists and six rebounds while Zhu rifled in 22 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Bay Area wrapped up the eliminations with a 10-2 record, enough to assure itself at least a second seed finish in the standings.

The hot shooting also spilled over to the rest of the Dragons as Kobey Lam also took the scoring cudgels, unleashing 22 of his career-high 30 points in the second half spiked by six triples while Qilong Zheng and Duncan Reid added 16 and 10 points respectively.

“What you’re getting is a growth and better understanding of how to play better basketball from our Chinese content, our local content. We came here to grow and get better and through the competition here, I think the big plus of our season so far is our local kids are really improving,” commented Bay Area head coach Brian Goorjian after the 32-point win.

Mobley, who replaced Cam Oliver after getting sidelined by a knee injury, made a good account of himself in his very first PBA game, dropping 38 points in the three quarters that he played in.

RR Pogoy and JP Erram tried to light some fire to the Tropang Giga finishing with 16 points apiece while Mikey Williams added 11 points – all of which, however, went futile in the end as they badly missed the services of injured star Jayson Castro.

TNT's shot at advancing to the playoffs also took a major hit and now hangs in the balance after sliding down to the 10th spot of the standings with a 4-7 record. The Tropang Giga will now need to win against the San Miguel Beermen in their last assignment while praying that the other teams ahead of them in the standings suffer defeats.

Bay Area, on the other hand, has the chance to finish at the top seed of the standings if closest pursuer Ginebra loses one of its remaining three games.