The possibility of playing without an import looms over the Bay Area Dragons as they prepare for yet another PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals match.
The foreign visitor squad played without Andrew Nicholson in Game Four and will have a 33-year-old import again questionable for the crucial fifth game of the best-of-seven series.
According to a team official who spoke on the record under the condition of anonymity, Nicholson has been ruled ineligible for Game Five because his badly rolled ankle from stepping on Jamie Malonzo’s foot in Game Three has not fully recovered.
The team representative reported that Nicholson’s ankle is still swollen.
However, unlike last Friday, the Dragons are reacting to the news far more calmly after defeating Ginebra, 94-86, and turning the championship series into a best-of-three contest despite missing its 6-10 import.
But in Game Five against a Ginebra team that will be desperate to make up for the disappointment on Friday, the Dragons are anticipated to be the underdogs once more.
In the three games he played in the finals versus Ginebra, Nicholson averaged 26.67 points and 17 rebounds; stats that will be difficult for even a star-studded Bay Area team to replicate. He donned a boot to protect his foot while he watched Game Four.
Myles Powell, the other Dragons import who is still in the country but has not fully recovered from a foot injury he sustained in practice, has also been excluded from returning by Bay Area coach Brian Goorjian.
Game Five will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday as well.