Fierce rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco Bolts will go at it this Sunday, with each team looking to get back in the win column after their respective losses last Friday
Catch this game live on September 5 at 4:35 pm, Manila time.
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (2-3)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: LA Tenorio
- SG: Scottie Thompson
- SF: Stanley Pringle
- PF: Japeth Aguilar
- C: Christian Standhardinger
In one of the weirdest things that have happened in recent PBA history, Ginebra fell prey to the Terrafirma Dyip, 95-90, last Friday. That came after the Dyip upset the San Miguel Beermen. But this isn’t about Terrafirma, but rather about how Ginebra will be able to get back up after such an embarrassing loss. Ginebra was sloppy against the Dyip and that’s something the Barangay will look to correct. The team had 19 turnovers to just 11 by the Dyip, who converted those Ginebra errors into 26 points. On the flipside, Ginebra only managed to score 11 points off Terrafirma’s turnovers.
Not to take away anything from the Dyip and Juami Tiongson’s transformation into Magic Tiongson, but they probably just caught the Barangay at the best time. It was Ginebra’s first game back since the conference resumed action, so LA Tenorio and company could still be feeling jittery in that contest. Now that the Barangay are all warmed up, expect a more coherent Ginebra unit on the floor this Sunday. Ginebra is averaging 85.4 points per game, so far in the conference.
The Meralco Bolts (5-2)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: John Pinto
- SG: Chris Newsome
- SF: Mac Belo
- PF: John Quinto
- C: Raymond Almazan
Meralco could have easily been 0-2 since the restart of the conference. Instead, the team has gone 1-1 after a thrilling 95-94 win over the Magnolia Hotshots last Wednesday and a 91-76 loss to the TNT Tropang Giga on Friday. The Bolts floundered in the TNT game mainly because their top guns sputtered mightily. Chris Newsome, Mac Belo, and Allein Maliksi combined for just 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the field.
Reynel Hugnatan came off the bench and scored just as many points as those three guys gathered together. That’s got to be disconcerting for Meralco. The team can’t have much success if a 42-year-old Hugnatan will have the same production as the top three offensive options. The good thing is that Meralco knows it, so expect Belo, Newsome, and Maliksi to show purposeful effort, as they go up against Ginebra’s defense that just got embarrassed by Tiongson and a Terrafirma team that didn’t even have Joshua Munzon and Roosevelt Adams.
Spread: This game will be a close one. Meralco’s top guns can be quite erratic, but Ginebra’s not shooting the ball well either this conference. I’m taking the Bolts here to cover (+2).
Over/Under: This will be a defensive battle between two teams that are below league average in pace and above in offensive rebounding percentage. Take the Under (172).