The 47th season of the PBA will kick off this Sunday, with the Magnolia Hotshots and the TNT Tropang Giga squaring off in the first game. This is also a rematch of the 2021 Philippine Cup Finals, so expect a brutally good showdown.
The PBA is back to its double-header daily schedule this Tuesday, with the matchup between the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel capping the day with an intriguing battle of serious title contenders.
Catch this game live on Sunday, June 5 at 6:30 pm, Manila time.
The Magnolia Hotshots (0-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Mark Barroca
- SG: Paul Lee
- SF: Rome dela Rosa
- PF: Calvin Abueva
- C: Ian Sangalang
Magnolia still has the bitter taste of its failure to win the title in the 2022 PBA Governors’ Cup, falling prey to the Meralco Bolts in the semis despite topping the elimination phase. That being said, this Hotshots team remains stacked. The trio of Paul Lee, Calvin Abueva, and Ian Sangalang is arguably the best in the PBA.
The triumvirate’s supporting cast isn’t too shabby either, with guards Mark Barroca, Jiio Jalalon, Jerrick Ahanmisi, and the sharp-shooting Adrian Wong on the roster. Magnolia doesn’t have an incoming rookie, which means there aren’t a lot of adjustments to be made for the Hotshots in terms of chemistry. In the last conference, the Hotshots beat TNT, 96-93, despite shooting an atrocious 3/20 from behind the arc, thanks in large part to the duo of Lee and Barroca, who combined for 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists.
The TNT Tropang Giga (0-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jayson Castro
- SG: Mikey Williams
- SF: Roger Pogoy
- PF: Troy Rosario
- C: Poy Erram
Like the Hotshots, TNT’s roster remains mostly the same as its lineup in the last conference. MVP candidate Mikey Williams will look to reprise his role as a walking nightmare for opposing defenses after averaging 20.8 points in the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup. He has proven over and over again that when he’s on, he’s virtually unstoppable offensively.
Williams is hardly the only TNT player who’ll be a major point of concern for the Hotshots. Jayson Castro is still lethal, while Kib Montalbo, RR Pogoy, and Troy Rosario don’t have a lot of rusts to shake off, since they all competed recently in the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam. The reigning Philippine Cup champions were fourth in fifth in the previous conference in terms of offensive rating and defensive rating, respectively.
Spread: TNT covers (+1.5) the spread.
Over/Under: The Over (176.5) hits.