The series is now tied at 2-2 after the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel pulled off a crucial win last Wednesday. Which team will move a win away from clinching the 2022 PBA Governors’ Cup title with a victory on Sunday?
Catch this game live on Sunday, April 17 at 6:30 pm, Manila time.
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (2-2)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: LA Tenorio
- SG: Scottie Thompson
- SF: Justin Brownlee
- PF: Christian Standhardinger
- C: Japeth Aguilar (GTD)
Ginebra did not allow itself to get thrown in a 3-1 hole in the Finals, as the Barangay rebounded from their loss in Game 3 by scoring a 95-84 win in Game 4. The bad news for the Barangay is that Japeth Aguilar re-aggravated the calf injury that had forced him to miss previous games. Aguilar is a game-time decision for Game 5, according to Ginebra head coach Tim Cone, so his status is one that needs to be closely monitored. With the league taking a long pause due to the Holy Week break, there might be enough time for Aguilar to heal up.
In any case, the Barangay can build on its excellent outside shooting in Game 4 in which they went 12/31 from behind the arc after going 4/32 in Game 3. Scottie Thompson was the perfect Robin to Justin Brownlee’s Batman, as he had 27 points with four 3-pointers. Brownlee also had 27 points with 18 rebounds. Those two have been the most consistent performers for the Barangay in the series, with Meralco struggling to contain them. Thompson and Brownlee are so good at finding crucial ways to contribute outside of scoring, making it harder for the Bolts to slow down Ginebra.
The Meralco Bolts (2-2)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Aaron Black
- SG: Chris Newsome
- SF: Allein Maliksi
- PF: Tony Bishop
- C: Raymond Almazan
After going off for 22 points in Game 1, Allein Maliksi has barely been felt offensively in the series. Since the series opener, Maliksi has scored just a total of 13 points. In Game 4, the former UST Tiger went 1/4 from the field for only three points, albeit in just 12 minutes off the bench. He’s not started since his stinky zero-point output in Game 2. However, he remains crucial for the Bolts because they are likelier to win games when he’s producing than when it’s another local teammate. Speaking of which, Aaron Black has done an admirable job for the Bolts in the Finals.
He’s shown he deserves his starter status after recording 14 points and nine rebounds in Game 4 and is now averaging 14.5 points in the series. His ability to generate offense against different defensive looks from Ginebra is helping the Bolts mitigate Maliksi’s struggles. It also appears that Chris Newsome is getting it going again, as he’s scored 35 points in the last two games. He and Tony Bishop Jr. will be sharing the bulk of the offensive duties in Game 5, so the hope for the Bolts is that the supporting cast will step up in an all-important contest on Sunday.
Spread: A rousing win in Game 4 by Ginebra is going to add even more action to the Barangay. Here’s to countering the public anew. Taking the Bolts to cover (+2.5).
Over/Under: The series has slowed down the past couple of games after two high-scoring ones to start it all up. Looking for both teams’ offenses to get going this time. Taking the Over (184.5). here.