It’s Game 1 of the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals this Sunday between the TNT Tropang Giga and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. This is massive series featuring teams of two of the country’s biggest companies, each with a rich winning tradition in the PBA. Who draws first blood?
Catch this game live on Sunday, April 9 at 6:00 pm, Manila time.
TNT Tropang Giga (10-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Mikey Williams
- SG: RR Pogoy
- SF: Paul Varilla
- PF: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
- C: Justin Chua
The Tropang Giga didn’t break much sweat in taking care of business in the semifinals, as the Tropang Giga dismantled sister team Meralco Bolts in four games. Although they lost once in that series, it was clear that Tropang Giga were just notches better than Meralco, which simply couldn’t slow down Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. The former Arizona Wildcats averaged 32.7 points in the semis matchup with the Bolts.
He has already introduced himself to Ginebra when he led TNT to a 114-105 win over the Barangay last month in which he went 12/19 from the field to go with 11 boards. He is also definitely lacking support from the TNT locals, with four other Tropang Giga players averaging at least 11 points per game, including RR Pogoy and Mikey Williams, who are averaging 19.1 and 17.6 points, respectively. Defensively, TNT is No. 1 in the league this conference with a defensive rating of 107.1. The Tropang Giga held Ginebra to just 106.0 offensive rating in the previous meeting.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (8-3)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Scottie Thompson
- SG: Stanley Pringle
- SF: Jamie Malonzo
- PF: Justin Brownlee
- C: Christian Standhardinger
Although TNT got the better of them last month, the Barangay have all the momentum they need heading to this Finals series. Since that loss to the Tropang Giga, Ginebra has won four games in a row, including a sweep of the San Miguel Beermen in the semifinals. Over that three-game stretch, the Barangay outscored the Beermen by 29 points. Justin Brownlee also has all the motivation in the world to put up a strong performance right from the get-go of the Finals.
He is 6-0 in the Finals as an import in the PBA but he’s probably got the bigger chip in the shoulder between him and Jefferson, who (sort of) belittled the Ginebra import after the first matchup. What’s undeniable, though, is that Brownlee remains so effective for the Barangay, with whom he fits in so well. When it comes to chemistry with the locals, there’s no import better than Brownlee. Ginebra’s defense has dipped a bit this conference in part because of Japeth Aguilar’s absence, but they’ve gotten so much better offensively. In the Commissioner’s Cup, Ginebra only had a 109.5 oRTG, but that number has gone up to 121.1 in this conference.
Spread: TNT (-2) covers the spread.
Over/Under: The total (213.5) hits the Over.