Dating back to the last conference, the TNT Tropang Giga are now on a three-game losing skid after dropping their first contest of the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup in a 94-92 loss to the Magnolia Chicken Timplados last Wednesday. The TNT crew will now look to recover when they cross paths with the NorthPort Batan Pier, who are back in the groove following a thrilling 101-95 victory over the Meralco Bolts on Sep. 30. Can the Tropang Giga avoid a 0-2 start? Or, will the Batang Pier hit ship another victory?
Catch this game live on Saturday, October 8 at 6:45 pm, Manila time.
TNT Tropang Giga (0-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kib Montalbo
- SG: Mikey Williams (questionable)
- SF: Cameron Oliver
- PF: Kelly Williams
- C: JP Erram
Tropang Giga import Cameron Oliver played like a million bucks in the Magnolia game, muscling his way to a 43-point night on 16/29 shooting. He also sank seven triples and added 17 rebounds in 43 minutes. Fatigue became an issue for Oliver late in the contest, but he should be ready to go again Saturday versus Batang Pier.
His job in the middle can get easier with JP Erram scheduled to return after a one-game suspension. Mikey Williams did not play against the Chicken Magnolia because of an ankle issue, but his GTD status for that contest bodes well for his availability versus NorthPort, which has struggled to beat TNT for quite some time now. In fact, TNT is 6-0 straight up in its last six meetings with the Batang Pier, dating back to 2019.
NorthPort Batang Pier (2-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Robert Bolick
- SG: Jerrick Balanza
- SF: Arvin Tolentino
- PF: Arwind Santos
- C: Prince Ibeh
NorthPort isn’t undefeated but it feels like it is playing with two imports with Robert Bolick and Prince Ibeh forming a scary tandem. Bolick is leading the team with 32.7 points per game on 47.9 FG%. He is also coming off a fiery performance in the win against the Bolts in which he dropped 44 points on 16/31 shooting from the floor.
It’s hard to sustain the form Bolick is having, but it must be comforting for the Batang Pier to see that Arvin Tolentino is also fitting in nicely with the team in support of Bolick. Tolentino is averaging 16.7 points per game and has been a fantastic floor-stretcher, shooting 45 3FG% while not also providing NorthPort strong rebounding. As of this writing, NorthPort is No. 1 in the PBA among teams with at least two games played with 12.3 3-pointers per outing.
Spread: TNT (+1.5) covers.
Over/Under: Taking the Under (188.5) here.