All the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel need to do this Wednesday in order to move on to the next round of the playoffs is beat the NorthPort Batang Pier. But that could be easier said than done, with the Batang Pier expected to go all out in what is a do-or-die game for them.

Catch this game live on Friday,  January 19at 8:00 pm, Manila time.

NorthPort Batang Pier (6-5)

Projected Starting Five:

  • Paul Christian Zamar
  • Joshua Munzon
  • Brent Paraiso
  • John Calma
  • Venky Jois

NorthPort will be fighting for their title hopes this Friday, as the Batang Pier have a twice-to-beat disadvantage against Ginebra. The Batang Pier don’t have to go way back to check out how they fared the last time they squared off against the Barangay, as the most previous meeting between these teams happened just earlier this month, with NorthPort suffering a 103-93 defeat. Arvin Tolentino will be a man to watch here from the NorthPort side, as the former Ginebra player muscled out a team-best 27 points with four 3-pointers in the loss to the Barangay. 

Tolentino has the tools and skills to be a huge thorn in the side of Ginebra, but he will need more help from the other locals, especially on the glass. Venky Jois is a double-d0uble machine this conference, and he pulled off the feat again in the game against Ginebra, posting 21 points and 17 rebounds. Despite the efforts of Tolentino and Jois, the Batang Pier got blown out, largely because they allowed too many second-chance points to the Barangay, 25-14.


Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (8-3)

Projected Starting Five:

  • Stanley Pringle
  • Scottie Thompson
  • Jamie Malonzo
  • Tony Bishop Jr
  • Christian Standhardinger

The Barangay are barging into the playoff round with quite a momentum. They are on a four-game win streak, including their win against NorthPort and versus the NLEX Road Warriors (103-99) to close out their elimination phase schedule. Ginebra’s defense has been unforgiving this conference, especially over their last several games. During their current undefeated run, the Barangay are allowing only 91.5 points per outing. 

That’s even better by a few ticks than their conference average of 91.8 points surrendered per outing – second-best overall in the league. Conversely, NorthPort is in the bottom half of the PBA in scoring defense and defensive rating, which is also why it was not a surprise the Batang Pier got crushed by Ginebra’s attack in the first meeting, with six Barangay players scoring at least 10 points, led by Tony Bishop who had 26 points to go with 16 boards. Bishop can match – if not better – the production of Jois, while Ginebra’s locals have always been more prolific than their Batang Pier counterparts.


Spread: Ginebra (-8.5) covers the spread.

Over/Under: The total (198.0) hits the Under.