MANILA – Myles Powell returned with a vengeance on Friday after dropping 50 points for Bay Area in a 120-87 rout against Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Powell nearly matched the Elasto Painters' output throughout the first three quarters as he did the feat within the first 36 minutes of action, as the Dragons held them to just 58 within the same span.
Bay Area sustained its form in the fourth quarter even if it sat out its key players, including Powell.
Powell went 15-for-25 from the field, including 11-of-17 from beyond the arc for his 50-point blast, the most threes made by an import since Jerod Ward also hit 11 triples in a 61-point outburst in TNT's (formerly Mobiline) 93-87 win against Ginebra in the 2001 Commissioner's Cup.
Seven-foot-five Liu Chuanxing added 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench as the Dragons tied the Converge FiberXers for second place at 7-2, just behind the Magnolia Hotshots (6-1).
Bay Area holds the tiebreaker over Converge through its 106-100 win on October 7, putting the former in good position to finish the elimination round at the Top 2, which means a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Anton Asistio led the Elasto Painters, who fell to 4-5, with 20 points on six triples, four rebounds, and four assists off the bench.
Ryan Pearson struggled in his PBA debut, only making nine points on 2-of-7 shooting, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals against three turnovers.
In the nightcap, Meralco banked on the heroics of its local veterans to take down skidding Blackwater in overtime, 102-98.
Allein Maliksi scored what would be the deciding basket for the Bolts, a three-pointer with 28 seconds left, as they survived a late scare from the Bossing led by Mike Ayonayon.
Down 70-83 with 6:43 left in regulation, Blackwater clawed its way back to the game in part due to Ayonayon's heroics, in which he scored nine of the team's final 19 points in regulation, including the basket that forced overtime at 89-all.
The team then kept in step with Meralco for most of the overtime period, knotting the count anew at 96-all with 1:22 left.
Maliksi, however, scored a corner three with 27.1 seconds left to put the Bolts ahead, 99-96.
Ayonayon kept the Bossing in the game with two quick free throws with 22.2 left, but they milked some time on the clock before fouling Aaron Black, who made two charities of his own with 12 seconds remaining.
Ayonayon tried to force overtime anew, but badly missed on a hurried three-pointer, and KJ McDaniels sealed the win with a split from the line.
McDaniels finished with 26 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block to lead Meralco, which scored back-to-back wins to move up to 3-5, tying NLEX for ninth place, a half-game behind San Miguel for eighth.
Black added 18 points, nine rebounds, one assist, and one steal.
Cam Krutwig made 23 points, 19 rebounds, six assists, and one steal, while Ato Ular added 15 points, 13 rebounds, one assist, and two steals for Blackwater, which fell to its fourth straight loss and dropped to 3-7, putting the team in danger of missing the quarterfinals with two games left in its elimination round schedule. (PNA)