Saturday will be a big day for basketball fans in Albay, as the PBA takes its act to Legazpi City for a showdown between the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the NLEX Road Warriors. Both teams are on win steaks, but which of them will come away with a W?
Catch this game live on Saturday, January 13 at 6:30 pm, Manila time.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (7-3)
Projected Starting Five:
- Scottie Thompson
- Maverick Ahanmisi
- Jamie Malonzo
- Tony Bishop Jr.
- Christian Standhardinger
Ginebra is chugging along with a wave of momentum behind the team after beating the NorthPort Batang Pier last Sunday, 103-93. It’s the third victory in a row for the Barangay, who are looking to sustain that form heading into the playoffs. Against NorthPort, Tony Bishop Jr. and the strong local contingent of the Barangay proved to be too much for the Batang Pier. Bishop led the Barangay with 26 points, while five other players chipped in at least 10.
Their firepower could be on full display again this Saturday versus a defensively mediocre NLEX squad. The Road Warriors are fourth-worst in the league with a 110.4 defensive rating. Conversely, Ginebra has one of the stoutest defenses in the PBA, as it is allowing just 102.5 points per 100 possessions while leading the league in block rate (7.5%).
NLEX Road Warriors (4-6)
Projected Starting Five:
- Robert Bolick Jr.
- Robbie Herndon
- Enoch Valdez
- Deandre Williams Baldwin
- Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser
Just like Ginebra, the Road Warriors are rounding into form just in time for the playoffs. They took full advantage of a soft recent schedule, beating cellar-dwellers Blackwater Bossing (104-97) and the Converge FiberXers (107-93) to continue their recovery from a four-game losing skid. New import DeAndre Williams shined in his first game in the PBA, scoring 22 points with 15 rebounds and seven assists plus three steals against Converge.
He could have done more if he had not fouled out, but now that he’s finally gotten a taste of Philippine basketball, he can be expected to manage his fouls much better this time around. Meanwhile, NLEX has an emerging weapon in Enoch Valdez, who had 19 points with four 3-pointers in the Converge game. That’s three straight games of at least 11 points for the unheralded forward. While their defense has always been suspect, the Road Warriors’ offense can compensate for the shortcomings. They are third in the league with a 52.5 eFG%.
Spread: Ginebra (-8.0) covers the spread.
Over/Under: The total (197.5) hits the Under.