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PBA Commissioner's Cup Power Rankings: Bay Area Dragons back on top as teams scramble for playoff spots

Myles Powell and the Bay Area Dragons returned to the top spot and are in good position to grab the top seed in the postseason. PBA Media Bureau

A couple of shock wins caused another shakeup atop the standings of the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

The Bay Area Dragons reclaimed the lead by virtue of a three-game winning streak that includes a win over the Magnolia Hotshots. Meanwhile the Converge FiberXers slipped from No. 1 after sustaining a blowout loss to a surging NorthPort.

Elsewhere, the race for the final playoff spots is getting more heated with just a handful of games left on the calendar for some of those squads.

Sid Ventura and Eros Villanueva give us the latest in ESPN's Power Rankings.

1. Bay Area Dragons (9-2)

Previous rank: 2nd

Myles Powell continued to prove that he is the right import for the Dragons, who carved out a close win over Magnolia in a battle between the two best teams in the elimination round. Bay Area is now 7-0 with the former NBA guard -- who is averaging a league-high 37.3 points on an astounding 63.1 true shooting (TS%) -- and it doesn't appear like he's about to slow down. A win over TNT in their last game before the playoffs should put Bay Area in a great position to clinch the top spot. -- Villanueva

Up next: TNT Tropang Giga (Nov. 23)

2. Magnolia Hotshots (8-2)

Previous rank: 3rd

The Hotshots went 1-1 in Week 9, beating the San Miguel Beermen but falling to the Dragons in a crucial battle between two of the league's top teams. But Converge's loss to NorthPort allowed Magnolia to hang on to second place in the standings. The Hotshots still have the best defense, allowing just 90.4 points per game, and they'll need that defensive intensity when they face the resurgent Meralco Bolts next. -- Ventura

Up next: Meralco Bolts (Nov. 27)

3. Converge FiberXers (8-3)

Previous rank: 1st

There's a chance this ends up being a fluke loss for the FiberXers, who benched Quincy Miller after the forward overslept and was late for practice following a birthday party. But losing by 15 points to a suddenly hot NorthPort team classifies as a bad loss for a squad that took down big names during their seven-game win streak. Miller's return should stabilize things for Converge heading into the playoffs, but the defense continues to be an area of concern. Even before allowing the Batang Pier to score 112 points, the FiberXers already possessed the third-lowest defensive rating (105.2) of any team in the current top eight playoff picture. Converge will take nine days off before figuring in a highly-touted matchup against Barangay Ginebra to end the elimination round. That game should give us an idea about this young squad's readiness heading into the quarterfinals. -- Villanueva

Up next: Barangay Ginebra (Nov. 30)

4. NorthPort Batang Pier (6-5)

Previous rank: 4th

The Batang Pier have won three straight. Robert Bolick appears to have regained his shooting touch, scoring 26 against Converge, as NorthPort is now a win away from booking a quarterfinals seat. It won't be easy, though, as they face surging Barangay Ginebra in their last game. A loss would complicate matters for the Batang Pier, so it would be good for them if rookie William Navarro can replicate his recent 29-17-9 performance. -- Ventura

Up next: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (Nov. 27)

5. Barangay Ginebra (7-2)

Previous rank: 5th

Ginebra are on a league-best five-game surge and have yet to fully utilize the depth of their roster. Through nine games, four teams have posted a better net rating than Ginebra, per RealGM. Close calls against teams with legitimate playoff hopes in TNT, San Miguel and Ginebra in recent weeks have seen them win by an average of only 3.6 points. But wins are wins, and for a Ginebra team that started off slow, these are all momentum-boosting victories that help them build toward a greater goal. A busy three-game slate over the next two weeks should sharpen Ginebra, who may look closer to their ideal selves as the games become more important. -- Villanueva

Up next: NLEX Road Warriors (Nov. 25)

6. Meralco Bolts (4-5)

Previous rank: 7th

The Bolts remain unbeaten ever since they replaced Johnny O'Bryant with KJ McDaniels, topping the TNT Tropang Giga in their lone Week 8 game. McDaniels is shooting just 32.2%, and he's not rebounding as much as the other imports (13.3 or 10th among the reinforcements). As a team the Bolts are just 11th in field goal shooting (40.8%), but somehow have been racking up the wins. They're also still dealing with the continued absence of Chris Newsome, whose timetable for a return is still murky after he suffered another muscle strain practicing with Gilas Pilipinas. McDaniels' true test will come in the Bolts' next game where they face the Hotshots. -- Ventura

Up next: Magnolia Hotshots (Nov. 27)

7. San Miguel Beermen (4-5)

Previous rank: 8th

At this point, it's all about hanging on if you're the Beermen. A vital win over Phoenix might have saved their conference and kept their quarterfinals hopes alive, but it's still an uphill climb with three games left. The good news: June Mar Fajardo, who was in uniform but didn't play last week, might be nearing a return. Having Fajardo back would bode well for San Miguel considering a rough schedule over the next two weeks. While Terrafirma is on the slate, the last two games are against Meralco and TNT -- squads jockeying for position at the tail end of the playoff picture. Hang tight! -- Villanueva

Up next: Terrafirma Dyip (Nov. 23), TNT Tropang Giga (Nov. 26)

8. TNT Tropang Giga (4-6)

Previous rank: 7th

Unfortunately for Chot Reyes, he couldn't stretch his personal winning streak in Week 9 after leading Gilas to two big wins in the FIBA qualifiers. The Tropang Giga dropped both of their Week 9 assignments, to Meralco and Ginebra, to fall to ninth place and momentarily out of the playoff picture. It doesn't look good for TNT as Jayson Castro rolled his ankle against Ginebra and they've been forced to tap a new import in Matt Mobley after Cameron Oliver hyperextended his knee. They face must-wins against the Dragons and Beermen in Week 10, and if they lose both games, then their streak of six straight playoff appearances could very well come to an end. -- Ventura

Up next: Bay Area Dragons (Nov. 23), San Miguel Beermen (Nov. 27)

9. Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (5-6)

Previous rank: 9th

The five-game win streak that ended just nine days ago feels like a memory for Phoenix, after falling to the Beermen on Saturday -- their third straight loss. At this point, there's not a lot that they can do but make sure they don't fall victim to Terrafirma in their last assignment in the elimination round and hope that TNT, San Miguel, and Meralco screw up at least one of their games. If they make the playoffs, there are real issues to resolve, starting with their offense (100.7 offensive rating, 11th). Once a trademark strength, the offense continues to be an issue coach Topex Robinson and his staff are looking to address even with Jason Perkins back in the fold. -- Villanueva

Up next: Terrafirma Dyip (Nov. 26)

10. Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (4-6)

Previous rank: 10th

The Elasto Painters took Week 9 off and are in the midst of a 12-day break, which hopefully is enough time to erase the sting of that one-point loss to Converge where they blew a 17-point lead. Like the Tropang Giga, they're on the outside looking in with regard to the playoff picture, and their upcoming game against Blackwater should be a treated as a must-win. It's been a bumpy ride for Rain or Shine ever since Yeng Guiao came back as the team is last in field goal shooting (39.8%), steals (6.3) and blocks (2.0). -- Ventura

Up next: Blackwater Bossing (Nov. 25)

11. Blackwater Bossing (3-8)

Previous rank: 11th

With four players (Troy Rosario, Baser Amer, JVee Casio, Anthony Torralba) set to miss the rest of the conference, there's really not much left in store for the Bossing, who are virtually eliminated from playoff contention with one more game left on their plate. There's still incentive to go out with a bang, though, as coach Ariel Vanguardia and Blackwater can carry over that momentum heading into a short offseason, where they can recalibrate for the season-ending Governors' Cup in January. -- Villanueva

Up next: Rain or Shine (Nov. 25)

12. Terrafirma Dyip (1-9)

Previous rank: 13th

STOP THE PRESSES! TERRAFIRMA HAS WON A GAME! The Dyip finally moved out of the cellar in the Power Rankings after their overtime win over the NLEX Road Warriors. Of course, that game shouldn't have gone into overtime but Terrafirma somehow blew a 10-point lead late in the game. For once they didn't wilt under pressure and outscored the Road Warriors 14-4 in the extra period to snap a 25-game losing streak. The Dyip are out of the running, but at least they won't go winless again. -- Ventura

Up next: San Miguel Beermen (Nov. 23), Phoenix Fuel Masters (Nov. 26)

13. NLEX Road Warriors (3-7)

Previous rank: 12th

The Road Warriors have been trending downwards for a while now, but losing to the worst team in the league have sunk them into a new, unimaginable low. Kevin Alas' absence (ankle) obviously played a big role here, but NLEX not being able to keep it together despite solid 20-point games from Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and Don Trollano, and a 45-point piece from import Earl Clark means there are serious underlying issues. Defense is obviously the most glaring issue -- only the Dyip, which scored 124 points, have allowed more points per 100 possessions (110.9). The Road Warriors are in a weird, unenviable spot, with no end in sight as Ginebra and Meralco await in their last two games. The stain of this shocking loss will linger for some time. -- Villanueva

Up next: Barangay Ginebra (Nov. 25)