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    Bay Area, Magnolia eye quick route to semis as RoS, Phoenix try to force decider

    Dec 9, 2022
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    PHOTO: PBA Images

    BAY Area and Magnolia hope to quickly make it to the semifinals when they face separate rivals on Friday in the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena.

    The Dragons square off against Rain or Shine at 3 p.m., while the Chicken Timplados Hotshots collide with Phoenix Super LPG at 5:45 p.m.

    See Guiao laments PBA 'has put its own teams at a disadvantage' vs Bay Area

    Bay Area and Magnolia hold a twice-to-beat advantages over their opponents, meaning a win on Friday will enable them to advance to the Final Four early. Both Bay Area and Magnolia recorded 10-2 win-loss slates to earn the quarterfinal bonus at the end of the eliminations.

    The top-seed Dragons make an import change as they enter the quarterfinals, recalling Andrew Nicholson to take the place of Myles Powell, who reportedly suffered an ankle sprain during one of their practices.

    Myles Powell Andrew Nicholson

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    Powell exploded against Rain or Shine in their elimination-round contest, pouring 50 points in Bay Area’s 120-87 win on Nov. 11.

    After finishing with a 5-7 win-loss record, the Elasto Painters had to play an extra game to reach the quarterfinals, defeating NLEX, 110-100, in a knockout match to secure the eighth seed and a date with Bay Area.

    The recent move by Bay Area to make another import change from Powell to Nicholson drew the ire of Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, who said that the PBA is putting its teams into a disadvantage.

    The No. 2 Hotshots look to also attain a semifinal berth as they take on the No. 7 Fuel Masters. Magnolia defeated Phoenix, 90-80, on Nov. 12.

    Phoenix had a decent elimination round after erecting a five-game win streak at one point in the conference. They, however, are forced to play against a twice-to-beat opponent after Phoenix lost to NorthPort in a tiebreaker for the sixth spot.

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    The Fuel Masters need to overcome a Hotshots squad that have won five of the last six games at the close of the eliminations.

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    PHOTO: PBA Images
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