Myles Powell flaunts his will as Dragons find their way to a Game 7 | Inquirer Sports
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Myles Powell flaunts his will as Dragons find their way to a Game 7

/ 05:25 AM January 12, 2023

Myles Powell Bay Area Game 6 PBA Finals

Bay Area import Myles Powell goes for a layup during Game 6 of the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Finals against Barangay Ginebra at Araneta Coliseum. PBA IMAGES

There was a sense of pride in the face of Myles Powell as he walked toward the press room of Smart Araneta Coliseum following a performance that gave the Bay Area Dragons one final chance at ending their guest participation in the PBA with a championship.

“That’s what we do, man!” Powell exclaimed before cellphone cameras from media members as he shrugged off the boos after what started as a preparation for another Barangay Ginebra coronation ended with the Dragons winning, 87-84, on Wednesday.

And as most of the 22,000 fans, that had a mixture of celebrities, politicians and ordinary citizens, headed to the exits after Ginebra failed in its first crack at capturing the Commissioner’s Cup crown, Powell and coach Brian Goorjian embraced each other.

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Goorjian lauded Powell, who scored 29 points after being activated for the Dragons’ crucial game despite being out for so long due to a foot injury.

“The guy sitting next to me is not in condition to walk into something like that. It’s totally will,” Goorjian later said when he and Powell got onto the podium.

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Goorjian and Powell were not just exhausted, they also felt a sense of gratification as Bay Area prevailed despite the visitors from Hong Kong facing a hostile environment.

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And the reward for getting through it: A Game 7 to remember on Sunday at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, where the attendance could double or triple that size of what the Big Dome accommodated in Game 6.

The championship decider was supposed to be held on Friday, but PBA commissioner Willie Marcial announced shortly after the final buzzer that the league decided to move it to Sunday in order to give those eager a better chance to witness what could be another celebration for the country’s most popular club or a rare heartbreak.

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“I’ve never been a part of something like this,” said Goorjian, once again soaking in the five-month Philippine experience that ends this weekend.

“How great of a basketball series this has been. And what’s coming up next on Sunday is gonna be incredible,” he added.

There was no crowning of a PBA champion at the historic venue, where Powell was ordained as perhaps the biggest villain of the series.

The boo birds were out immediately once Powell got in as a substitute in the first quarter. But the Ginebra supporters, who jeered the former National Basketball Association player for his comments on officiating early in the series and his surprise return despite Goorjian ruling him out due to a bad foot, slowly turned silent as he made 11 of his 20 attempts.

Bay Area led by 12 at one point, but Best Import Justin Brownlee came alive for Ginebra, scoring nine straight during one stretch late in the third to cut the margin to two entering the fourth.

Christian Standhardinger also joined the act and scored some baskets early in the final canto that gave Ginebra a seven-point gap, with prospects of a clincher looming large.

But Ginebra paid dearly for seeing some of its main weapons struggle offensively as Powell and Hayden Blankley led a Bay Area comeback that was eventually completed when the former took charge.

“Just being out there with my brothers and the will to win,” said Powell. “I know what I mean to the team. If I couldn’t bring that, I wouldn’t step on the floor.”

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“Coach (Goorjian) has sacrificed for us and it was my turn to sacrifice, and that’s what I went out there and did today,” he added.

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TAGS: Barangay Ginebra, Bay Area Dragons, Myles Powell, PBA

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