Andrew Nicholson looking forward to Bay Area’s ‘full team play’ come EASL
MANILA, Philippines–Bay Area import Andrew Nicholson believes that it will be a totally different Dragons team that will play San Miguel Beer and TNT when the East Asia Super League (EASL) rolls around.
And that is because he believes his crew has yet to play at its full potential.
“We’ve been playing in handcuffs the whole season. We haven’t been able to play with me and Myles (Powell) together,” he said on the heels of Bay Area’s Game 7 loss to Ginebra, 114-99, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday night.
“It will be interesting to see how other teams respond to having our full team play. We’re looking forward to that,” he went on.
PBA fans were deprived of seeing Dragons field the 6-foot-10 Nicholson together with spitfire guard Powell, as they had to split duty in accordance with the Commissioner’s Cup rules. The PBA’s import-laced tournaments allow for only one reinforcement at a time for each club.
“The only times me and Myles have played together is in practice. It’s gonna exciting what we can do on together on the court at the same time and showcase what Bay Area Dragons are at 100 percent,” the Canadian big man said.
Such handicap won’t be in the way for Greater China outfit when it defends its home turf in the EASL’s Champions Week, which will also feature the Beermen and Tropang Giga, who secured berths after finishing the top two teams of the PBA’s Philippine Cup.
“They’re earned the right to go to EASL. We played them so we’re familiar with their style of play. We might cross paths in the EASL and we’re looking forward to seeing them again,” said the injured Nicholson who will have his injured injured ankle fully healed by then.
Nicholson hurt his foot in Game 3 of the title series, paving the way for Powell who returned despite a foot problem of his own.
Bay Area, according to its head coach and Olympian Brian Goorjian, will be taking a short break and then stay in Manila until late February to prepare for the Champions Week and other tournaments.
“I keep saying that this was the clincher. The whole reason why I left Australia is I believe in this, that you need international competition,” he said.
“I got players that are 22, 23 years old that have an opportunity to grow and this experience is gonna make them better,” he added.