(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3 p.m. — Terrafirma vs Meralco
5:45 p.m. — Bay Area vs Converge
Myles Powell aims to lead Bay Area to a perfect record before giving way for fellow import Andrew Nicholson when they face Converge in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Game time is set at 5:45 p.m. following the match between Meralco and the slumping Terrafirma side in the 3 p.m. first game.
Barely standing at 6-foot-2, Powell, a former Philadelphia 76ers playmaker, has been impressive in his first three games, posting glowing averages of 36.7 points on 34.1 percent three-point shooting and 83.3 percent free throw shooting with eight rebounds and three steals.
The Dragons win their first three games, including a tough 105-104 squeaker over NorthPort in which the crafty American knocked down a buzzer-beating three-pointer.
Since then, Powell had become the gold standard among imports as he stepped up big time in this tourney where the height ceiling is pegged at 6-foot-10.
Still, despite Powell’s brilliance, the Dragons are set to replace him with Andrew Nicholson – a sweet-shooting Canadian who played for the Orlando Magic, the Washington Wizards and the Brooklyn Nets in a five-year National Basketball Association career.
He will make his debut against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday before facing
San Miguel Beer on 16 October, Terrafirma on 21 October, and Meralco on 4 November.
The switch is necessary since, as per PBA rules, only one import is allowed and the Dragons arranged a setup in which they split the first eight games between Powell and Nicholson.
In the succeeding games against Rain or Shine on 11 November, NLEX on 13 November, Magnolia on 19 November, and TNT Tropang Giga on 23 November, however, Bay Area coach Brian Goorijan will have to decide on whom between the two will serve as their reinforcement.
The Dragons will be facing a FiberXers’ team that is eager to bounce back from its previous 109-105 loss at the hands of Magnolia, which had won three straight games to gain a share of the leadership with the visiting squad.
Quincy Miller blew hot and cold in the FiberXers’ game against the Hotshots, knocking in 38 points, built around six triples.
But Miller, who played for three NBA teams, went cold as he only had three points in the fourth period, prompting the Hotshots to outscore the FiberXers, 38-21.
Meralco and Terrafirma, two teams which have yet to notch a victory in the tournament, looks for a breakthrough win with the hope of changing their fortunes in this import-laced event.
The Bolts had lost back-to-back games, the latest was against fierce rival Ginebra, 99-91, last Sunday.
Meralco will take on a Terrafirma squad that had lost 19 straight games stretching back to last season’s Governors’ Cup. The Dyip along with the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters are languishing at the bottom of the standings at 0-3.
Terrafirma’s 19-game losing skid is the second longest losing skein in the history of the PBA, surpassing the 18 straight setbacks of Great Taste, which it posted in the 1980 season.