The Meralco Bolts and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel will add another chapter to their rivalry, as they lock horns this Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Will the Bolts give Ginebra its second loss in a row? Or, will the Barangay extend their head-to-head win streak against Meralco?
Catch this game live on Wednesday, July 13 at 6 pm, Manila time.
The Meralco Bolts (4-3)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Aaron Black
- SG: Chris Newsome
- SF: Allein Maliksi
- PF: Cliff Hodge
- C: Raymond Almazan
The Bolts recharged themselves with a skid-snapping 77-73 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on July 6. Prior to that, Meralco dropped back-to-back games to the NLEX Road Warriors (90-75) and the surprising Blackwater Bossing (90-89). Hopefully for Meralco, it has finally recovered its mojo with that morale-boosting win versus the Elasto Painters. Even more encouraging for the Bolts is the play of point guard Aaron Black, who picked up the pieces following a zero-point dud in the Blackwater game and exploded for 20 points on 8/17 shooting against Rain or Shine.
Ginebra can be tough defensively around the perimeter, so Black is going to need Chris Newsome to step up after the forward scored just 7 points on a salty 3/14 shooting against Rain or Shine to stretch the Barangay’s defense. Speaking of which, the Bolts are no. 1 this conference with a 37.5 3FG%, thanks in large part to Allein Maliksi and Black shooting 42.9 FG% and 54.5 FG% from deep, respectively. That doesn’t sound good for Ginebra that just allowed 16 triples to the Tropang Giga Sunday night.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (6-2)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: LA Tenorio
- SG: Scottie Thompson
- SF: Arvin Tolentino
- PF: Christian Standhardinger
- C: Japeth Aguilar
Ginebra’s unbeaten streak ended in four games, as the Barangay got taken down by the Tropang Giga over the weekend to the tune of a 106-92 score. It was somewhat of a surprising result, considering the blowout nature of the contest that had Ginebra as the favorite to win. Turnovers really hurt the Barangay, as they coughed up the ball 15 times to just 11 by TNT. Christian Standhardinger had a double-double of 15 points and 12 boards, but he also committed 5 turnovers.
That’s also a byproduct of TNT’s speed, resulting in a huge +16 shot disparity in favor of the Tropang Giga, which is among the league’s top teams in terms of pace. Ginebra should have much lesser issues dictating the tempo against the Bolts., who are actually last overall in this conference in pace. Also in play for the Barangay is their having Meralco’s number. They are 3-0 straight up in their last three meetings with the Bolts and 3-1 overall in the last four.
Spread: Ginebra (-3) covers.
Over/Under: The total (174.0) hits the Under.