The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the NorthPort Batang Pier kick off their best-of-3 series in the quarterfinals of the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup this Wednesday at PhilSports Arena. Will Ginebra satisfy its fans with a win from the get-go? Or, will Batang Pier win to push the Barangay to the edge?
Catch this game live on Wednesday, December 7 at 5:45 pm, Manila time.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (9-3)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Scottie Thompson
- SG: Stanley Pringle
- SF: Jamie Malonzo
- PF: Justin Brownlee
- C: Japeth Aguilar
The Barangay are in a good form heading into the playoffs. Ginebra blew out each of its last two opponents, which included the Batang Pier, whom the Barangay beat on Nov. 27, 122-105. Ginebra then proceeded to destroy the Converge FiberXers in its regular-season finale on Nov. 30, 115-96. Ginebra’s defense is once again flashing its sharp fangs, just in time for the postseason. So far in the Commissioner’s Cup, Ginebra is allowing only 95.9 points per game with opponents shooting only 42.6 FG%.
But the Barangay can also win games with their sheer unstoppability on offense. When they beat NorthPort, the Barangay were led by the trio of Justin Brownlee, Jamie Malonzo, and Christian Standhardinger. Brownlee had 21 points, while Malonzo and Standhardinger scored 26 and 20 points, respectively, Ginebra’s size, athleticism, and versatility on the wings and up front are so tough to matchup with, and that could be the case again for NorthPort this Wednesday.
NorthPort Batang Pier (6-6)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Robert Bolick
- SG: Jeff Chan
- SF: William Navarro
- PF: Arvin Tolentino
- C: Prince Ibeh
NorthPort is preparing to face the same team it last faced. In the Batang Pier’s loss in their regular-season finale against Ginebra, NorthPort was simply outmuscled on the glass. Ginebra was +19 in total rebounds (50-31) which played a huge role in the Barangay scoring 25 second-chance points to just nine by the Batang Pier. Outside of Prince Ibeh, no other Batang Pier player had more than six boards. (Ibeh led the team with 13 rebounds).
It looks like Ibeh will have to do a monster job battling Ginebra’s bigs for rebounds, but the likes of Arvin Tolentino and Will Navarro should be able to help. They’re rangy forwards and have the length and size to win several rebounding opportunities for NorthPort, which, at the end of the day, will go as far as where Robert Bolick and the team’s offense carry it. Bolick, who scored 22 points versus Ginebra, is averaging 21.7 points. Tolentino, who had 24 points in the loss to his former team, is shooting 38.1% from deep, while Navarro can score from practically everywhere.
Spread: NorthPort (+9.5) covers the spread.
Over/Under: The Over (193.5) hits.