Goorjian, Powell pause talk on Gulf enhancement: It’s Nicholson all the way

Andrew Nicholson Bay Area Dragons' PBA Semi-Final

Andrew Nicholson. PBA . IMAGES

Coach Brian Goorjian made sure he spoke to both Andrew Nicholson and Myles Powell before the three headed into the locker room and celebrated the Bay Area Dragons’ reaching the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioners Cup Finals ( PBA).

Goorjian brushed the two imports aside and thanked them for their contributions in making the Hong Kong team the third foreign team to make it to the biggest stage of the major tournament.

“I just want to thank them,” Goorjian later told scribes who witnessed the trio’s conversation after the Dragons’ 94-92 semi-final series against the San Miguel Beermen on Wednesday. at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The discussion somewhat fueled speculation about whether the Bay Area would make a move to a championship series starting on Christmas Day, after Nicholson competed in the knockout stages due to Powell’s injured foot. .

But Goorjian was quick to quash such views.

“[It will be Andrew Nicholson] the whole way,” said Goorjian.

Goorjian has ruled out any chance for Powell to return until the East Asian Super League (EASL) in March 2023, saying it will take six weeks plus rehabilitation for the flamethrower guard to recover. fully recovered after a toe tear.

But fans have been speculating about Powell’s return, with some comments on social media suggesting that the 6-foot-2 American, who has won all eight games with the Dragons, could. pretending to be injured.

“Why do I (explorer) walk around with a choker [a] ‘fake injury,'” Powell said, reacting to a netizen who commented on a video on the Inquirer Sports Twitter account that showed him performing a few jumps while wearing protective gear during a warm-up. motion before the game.

“…You keep tweeting fake trauma. (Discover) and get a life, he later added.

Bay Area guest participation in the mid-season conference is not only impressive, but complicated on the Dragons’ side due to the import situation.

The Dragons tapped Nicholson and Powell with the original intent of having the two play together in EASL, which was supposed to be a home and away tournament that began in October before it was pushed back and dropped one week left. event in Okinawa, Japan.

The PBA’s involvement initially served as an EASL launch, with agreements allowing the Bay Area to do just one entry. The Dragons eventually got Powell to play the first four games of the knockouts, Nicholson playing the next four. They settle for Powell in a later stage.

different arrangement

Powell’s injury allowed the Bay Area to bring in Nicholson for the quarter-finals and semi-finals under an agreement made with the league, which is different from the PBA’s rules that only allow its member teams to bring in original imports. during the entire tournament.

“Those two are who they are, this (reaching the Finals) will never happen,” Goorjian said. “I have never had a case where imports could handle what those two did, here for five months sitting idle and working hard. I’m really proud of those two.”

Powell, as mentioned, has never lost in the ring and could be a strong contender for Best Import if a Bay Area player qualifies for any individual awards. He averaged 37.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals over the course of his eight games.

While not an explosive goalscorer like Powell, the 6-foot-10-tall Nicholson has shown that he can be a primary offensive weapon while providing what the big boys usually offer, like saw with an average of 36.2 points and 13.3 bounces in his nine games. Game.

Nicholson had 42 points and 21 bounces as the Dragons eliminated the Beermen to date the Gin Kings, who rudely greeted him 111-93, the Bay Area’s first loss here, Oct. last year at the PhilSports Arena.

Another extra episode was Nicholson’s attempt to atone for that defeat and equal what Nicholas Stooley—a team comprised of American players—at the 1980 Invitational and late coach Ron Jacobs’ side merge. North in the 1985 Reinforced Conference did when they won the championship as the away team.

“Looking forward to it,” Nicholson said.

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