The TNT Tropang Giga walloped the Magnolia Hotshots in Game 1. Will the Hotshots dig deep enough to even the series up in Game 2? Or, will the Tropang Giga roast Magnolia one more time to go up 2-0?
Catch this game live on October 22, 6 pm, Manila time.
The Magnolia Hotshots (0-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jio Jalalon
- SG: Paul Lee
- SF: Rome dela Rosa
- PF: Calvin Abueva
- C: Ian Sangalang
Barely anything worked for Magnolia in Game 1 of the Finals. The Hotshots were dominated from start to finish by TNT in the series opener to absorb an 88-70 loss. The guns the Hotshots expected to lead them were silent. Paul Lee scored 12 points on a salty 3-of-12 shooting; Ian Saggalang played just five minutes and scored five points; Calvin Abueva finished with 11 points but on 3-of-11 shooting.
Magnolia did not start Lee and Abueva in Game 1, a move that quickly backfired, as the Tropang Giga outscored the Hotshots in the first period, 24-14. Perhaps the Hotshots will come around and start either or both Lee and Abuevain Game 2 to give the team a bigger chance of keeping up with the Tropang Giga’s offense. Magnolia shot just 27 FG% in Game 1, which is almost anomalous. Granted that the Tropang Giga are a great defensive team, Magnolia is certainly capable of shooting better than that. The Hotshots also got 44 shots from the foul line and made just 26 in Game 1. Missed free throws hurt Magnolia, but expect the Hotshots to keep drawing fouls at a high rate, as that has just been the trend for the team in this entire conference.
The TNT Tropang Giga (1-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Brian Heruela
- SG: RR Pogoy
- SF: Mikey Williams
- PF: Troy Rosario
- C: JP Erram
Not seeing Chris Ross on the floor was like a life-changing experience for Mikey Williams in Game 1 of the Finals. Without having to deal with Ross anymore, Williams exploded for 21 points with five 3-pointers on six attempts. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out five assists. He was basically all the Tropang Giga need to bury Magnolia in the series opener, but credit also goes to their defense. Magnolia turned the ball over 28 times which were converted by the Tropang Giga into 26 points.
The Tropang Giga also had 13 steals to just four by the Hotshots. With Williams off to a great start in the series, TNT hopes that he will be able to sustain his momentum. But the Tropang Giga also need RR Pogoy and Jayson Castro to make their presence felt on offense after the two combined for just eight points on 3-of-12 shooting in Game 1. Troy Rosario and JP Erram should also see an uptick in usage with veteran big man Kelly Williams suffering a back injury during a botched dunk attempt in the last game.
Magnolia’s going to put up a better performance in Game 2 and should not be blown out right away in the first quarter. Still, take TNT to cover (-3.5).
Over/Under: It can’t be as bad as Game 1 for the Hotshots’ offense. Magnolia likely will give Sangalang more minutes in this game, which could also mean more offensive rebounds for the Hotshots. More extra possessions could lead to a slower pace of play. Take the Under (173.0).