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Sports

PBA playoffs ‘different war’ for red-hot Dragons

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
PBA playoffs âdifferent warâ for red-hot Dragons
Myles Powell (center)
PBA media bureau

MANILA, Philippines — Since wrapping up its elims campaign last Nov. 23, top seed Bay Area has spent time toughening up physically and mentally for what it anticipates as a “different war” in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs this week.

The Dragons, who posted a league-best 10-2 card, will face eighth seed Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals on Friday, determined to pounce on the win-once bonus to move further.

“We want to keep it rolling,” Bay Area’s explosive import Myles Powell told the Power and Play program of Philippine Sports Commission chairman Noli Eala on Radyo Singko.

“We know that the first part of the season is over but the playoffs are going to be another different type of war. So we’re preparing for that,” he added.

This being the first post-elims gig for most of Bay Area’s young Chinese players, coach Brian Goorjian has made it a priority to get them ready for the amped-up intensity.

If the Dragons hurdle the E-Painters, they would be in line for a Final Four duel with either No. 4 Converge or No. 5 defending champion San Miguel Beer, which figure in a best-of-three dispute.

“We got the double chance and the other team got to beat us twice and then we’d be involved in a series and we’ve never experienced this before as a team,” said Goorjian.

Yeng Guiao’s gritty ROS charges won the Bay Area sweepstakes by beating NLEX in a KO for No. 8 last Sunday, 110-100.

“We’ll try to stay in there as long as we can,” said Guiao.

The other half of the quarters pit twice-to-beat No. 2 Magnolia against No. 7 Phoenix and race-to-two protagonists No. 3 Barangay Ginebra versus No. 6 NorthPort.

The playoffs begin tomorrow at the PhilSports Arena pitting Converge and SMB at 3 p.m. then Ginebra and NorthPort at 5:45 p.m.

PBA COMMISSIONER’S CUP

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