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Sports

Nicholson steps in for Bay Area

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Andrew Nicholson takes over from Myles Power as Bay Area’s import when the Dragons face Rain or Shine with a twice-to-beat advantage in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal duel at the PhilSports Arena today. The Dragons submitted their playoff lineup and a medical certification of Powell’s injury to the PBA before noon yesterday, after which league officials advised the other teams of the import change.

Powell came off a screen to attempt a layup at practice last Monday and pushed off his foot to elevate. “He felt a snap and severe pain in his metatarsophalangeal joint of the left big toe,” said team physician Dr. Lawrence Bernardo. “Immediately, thereafter, he had difficulty in bearing weight on his left foot. He was unable to finish the training session.” Dr. Bernardo examined Powell after the incident and reported “a noted swelling and erythema” in the joint. “I advised to do cryotherapy, take NSAIDs for the pain and swelling, figure-of-8 taping, wear a walking boot and possible steroid injection to the joint,” he added. Powell was told to rest the foot for at least a week. His condition was diagnosed to be an acute hyperextension injury with metatarsophalangeal joint sprain to the left big toe.

EASL Philippine head Banjo Albano called it a “turf toe,” a common affliction of football players. “We’re lucky that Andrew’s been working out with the team and with this development, he’ll step in,” he said. “Andrew’s a consummate pro and he’ll help with his NBA experience. We’re relying on his ability to impact the game on both ends and his leadership on the court.” Albano said the Dragons are excited to plunge into their first PBA playoff experience. “It’s a high-stress environment,” he said. “We’re focusing on the PBA at the moment but we also know this is excellent preparation for the EASL Champions Week.”

The Dragons posted a 10-2 record in the elims and were a perfect 8-0 with Powell in harness. Nicholson saw action in four games where Bay Area went 2-2, losing to Ginebra and Meralco. Bay Area may reactivate Powell at any time in the playoffs but if he returns, the Dragons lose the option of replacing him if he is injured and in this case, the guest team will continue to play without an import.

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