Sister teams Meralco Bolts and TNT Tropang Giga lock horns this Saturday. The Bolts are looking to stay undefeated, while the Tropang Giga are aiming to prevent going under .500. Who wins this showdown at Ynares Center in Antipolo?

Catch this game live on Saturday,  June 18 at 7:15 pm, Manila time.

The Meralco Bolts (2-0)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Aaron Black
  • SG: Chris Newsome
  • SF: Allein Maliksi
  • PF: Cliff Hodge
  • C: Raymond Almazan

Aaron Black is really coming into his own. The former Ateneo Blue Eagles star is pumping out a team-leading 22.0 points per game this conference while shooting a very high and unsustainable 77.3 3FG%. But unlike Roger Pogoy, Black is getting a ton of help from the other Bolts. When Black exploded for 25 points in their 90-74 win over the Converge FiberXers last Thursday, Allein Maliksi and Chris Newsome had 22 and 19 points, respectively. 

When Meralco defeated the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, 109-98 in the Bolts’ conference opener, six Bolts scored at least 12 points, including even the ageless Reynel Hugnatan, who put up 17 points. Meralco is showing so much promise with Black as the clear starting PG of the team, and it could only get better for the Bolts going forward. The Bolts have also won three of the last five meetings with TNT, including the most recent one – an 83-80 win last December.


The TNT Tropang Giga (2-2)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Jayson Castro
  • SG: Roger Pogoy
  • SF: Glenn Khobuntin
  • PF: Kelly Williams
  • C: Troy Rosario 

The Tropang Giga are still looking for consistency in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup. They have not won consecutively through four games so far in the conference and are coming off a 90-89 loss to the NLEX Road Warriors last Thursday. Part of the problem is the lack of scoring support behind Roger Pogoy, who is leading TNT with 20 points per game, while Troy Rosario is second with just 13.8 and Jayson Castro with 12.8. 

In both TNT losses, Pogoy scored a total of 60 points while the next-best scorers for the team in those games combined for only 21. But at some point, TNT is going to hit its stride. Even though they are unlikely to get Mikey Williams back, Pogoy, Castro, Rosario, and Erram are good enough of a core to make life tougher for the Bolts, who are undefeated but haven’t really been tested yet this conference. 


Spread: TNT (+3.5) covers the spread.

Over/Under: Taking the Over (169.5).