The first Manila Clasico of the year is finally here, as the undefeated Magnolia Hotshots look to add the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to its list of victims in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
Catch this game live on July 25, 2021 at 4:35 pm, Manila time.
The Magnolia Hotshots (2-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Paul Lee
- SG: Mark Barroca
- SF: Rome Dela Rosa
- PF: Calvin Abueva
- C: Ian Sangalang
The Hotshots are starting the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup like a house on fire. After winning their opener against the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, 80-73, the Hotshots escaped with another victory when they trounced the Alaska Aces last Wednesday 84-82.
Magnolia Head Coach Chito Victolero is enjoying the luxury of having two-thirds of San Sebastian’s famed “Pinatubo Trio,” as Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang have been fantastic, thus far. Abueva led Magnolia in the Phoenix game with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Sangalang also had 26 points to go with five rebounds and two blocks against Alaska.
But it’s a former Staglet who’s been the most consistent scorer for Magnolia and that’s Paul Lee, who will come into Saturday’s game with an average of 18.5 PPG this conference.
That trio of Abueva, Sangalang and Lee will be a force to reckon with against any opponent. Abueva only had nine points on 3-of-12 shooting against Alaska but look for him to rebound this Saturday, as he just loves playing against the Barangay — with or without the rowdy fans in the stands.
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (1-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: LA Tenorio
- SG: Scottie Thompson
- SF: Stanley Pringle
- PF: Japeth Aguilar
- C: Christian Standhardinger
Ginebra Head Coach Tim Cone is still far from satisfied with how his team is faring, but at least the Barangay have finally broken into the win column after showing the Blackwater Bossing who’s the real boss in a 96-81 win last Friday.
The victory came days after Ginebra got stunned by the NLEX Road Warriors in a 19-point loss in the Barangay’s conference opener. Christian Standhardiner is also looking more accustomed to playing in Ginebra threads, as he had 11 points and 19 rebounds against Blackwater after an eight-point output against the Road Warriors.
C-Stand is under no real obligation to get buckets, though, with the likes of Stanley Pringle, Japeth Aguilar, and LA Tenorio surrounding him. His blue-collar work ethic on the floor is where the Barangay is putting a premium on.
The size and skill of Ginebra’s frontcourt tandem of Standhardinger and Aguilar should be a huge thorn in the side of Magnolia. For one, Aguilar’s presence in the middle is bad news for the Hotshots who are just shooting 39% inside the arc this conference.
Magnolia is playing as though it did a better job in the offseason preparing for the conference, while Ginebra is still dealing with some hitches in their on-court chemistry. Take the Hotshots to cover.