The Magnolia Timplados Hotshots and the Meralco Bolts will meet for the first time since the semifinal round of the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup. Will the Hotshots get some measure of revenge this time? Or, will the Bolts snap Magnolia’s win streak while extending theirs?
Catch this game live on Friday, July 15 at 6 pm, Manila time.
Magnolia Timplados Hotshots (5-3)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Paul Lee
- SG: Jio Jalalon
- SF: Calvin Abueva
- PF: Ian Sangalang
- C: Rafi Reavis
The Hotshots will come into this Friday game with fresher legs, as they are coming off nearly a full week of rest. The last time they hit the floor, they dismantled the lowly Terrafirma Dyip for a 104-83 victory. Ian Sangalang muscled his way through for 20 points on 8/10 shooting and grabbed 7 rebounds, while Jio Jalalon and Paul Lee scored 17 each.
It’s really not that hard to have great games against the DYIP, but the Hotshots were supposed to dominate that contest given how stacked their roster is and how well they have been playing of late. Magnolia has won all its last four games, including victories over playoff contenders Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and NLEX Road Warriors. The Hotshots are getting their moxie back mainly because of their defense which is arguably the best in the league this conference. They are no. 1 with a 92.1 defensive rating and also tops overall with an 11.3 STL%.
Meralco Bolts (4-3)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Aaron Black
- SG: Chris Newsome
- SF: Allein Maliksi
- PF: Cliff Hodge
- C: Raymond Almazan
Meralco will shoot for its third win in a row this Friday. The Bolts have won both their last two outings, taking down the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (77-73) and Ginebra (90-73). Like Magnolia, the Bolts are making it hard for opponents to go off offensively. In fact, they are not that far behind the Hotshots in terms of defensive rating; Meralco is second in the league so far in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup conference with just 95.7 points allowed per 100 possessions.
Meralco is also running on a better, more efficient offense than the Hotshots. The Bolts have a 100.7 offensive rating to just 98.1 of Magnolia. They are sharing the rock on a higher rate than the Hotshots, with a 62.7 AST% to Magnolia’s 54.5 AST%. The pair of Chris Banchero and Aaron Black offers a solid backcourt counter-weapon against Lee and the Hotshots’ guards, providing a preview for Magnolia’s defense when they combined for 26 points and 10 assists against Ginebra.
Spread: Meralco (+4.5) covers.
Over/Under: The Under (171.5) hits.