The San Miguel Beermen is on cruise control, but they can’t look past the still-dangerous NorthPort Batang Pier, who have plans of their own to pull off a win this Saturday. Who will take that W?
Catch this game live on Saturday, July 2 at 5:15 pm, Manila time.
The San Miguel Beermen (5-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Simon Enciso
- SG: CJ Perez
- SF: Marcio Lassiter
- PF: Rodney Brondial
- C: June Mar Fajardo
Junemar Fajardo remains a destructive force in the PBA. He may not be scoring as much as he used to, but as shown in his performance in San Miguel’s 99-93 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, Fajardo is still a huge problem – literally and figuratively. The six-time PBA MVP posted only 10 points versus Rain or Shine, but grabbed 16 rebounds and even led the Beermen with 7 assists.
With CJ Perez, Marcio Lassiter, and Jericho Cruz popping in the perimeter, Fajardo has the luxury to lay back a bit offensively, though, that doesn’t mean he’s not making a big impact on that end of the court because his mere presence collapses defenses. So far this conference, San Miguel is second overall with a 104.0 offensive rating and no. 1 with a 30.8 ORB%, thanks in large part to Fajardo (15.5 ORB%) and Rodney Brondial (13.8 ORB%) who are both corralling offensive rebounds like they’re lives depend on those.
The NorthPort Batang Pier (2-4)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Robert Bolick
- SG: Jerrick Balanza
- SF: Jamie Malonzo
- PF: Arwind Santos
- C: John Calma
The Batang Pier are still on a tailspin, as they saw their losing streak extend to four games after a 117-112 loss to the Tropang Giga on June 29 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. While the losses are piling up for NorthPort, the Batang Pier can’t be taken lightly, especially since Jamie Malonzo is playing like a borderline top-5 player in the league. Malonzo, who scored 27 points to go with 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 blocks against TNT, is a matchup problem because of his size, athleticism, and sheer aggression on both ends.
He is leading NorthPort with 19.0 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. He is also recording 1.8 steals and 2.0 blocks per contest. Robert Bolick remains the primary option for NorthPort, but the team probably has to give some of his shots to Malonzo and others because the former San Beda Red Lions star is just not being efficient offensively. Bolick’s 50 TS% is only seventh on the team, while the likes of John Calma and Roi Siumang have been fantastic in that area, as they are the only Batang Pier players with over 60 TS%. Those two role players can be the surprise packages in this game versus San Miguel.
Spread: San Miguel (-8) covers the spread.
Over/Under: The Over (189.0) hits.