Like the Ginebra and San Miguel matchup that will succeed the game, the Magnolia Hotshots and NorthPort Batang Pier couldn’t be any more different in momentum. The former are surging while the latter have taken a nosedive.
Catch this game today on November 8, at 4:00 pm, Manila time.
The Magnolia Hotshots (5-4)
Magnolia is the hottest team in the league right now, and the guys’ confidence is most definitely through the roof. They are heading into the game having won four-straight wins after an ugly 1-4 start.
As always, Paul Lee is starring in the team’s success. The flashy guard has poured in 87 points in their last three games on an impressive 61.3% shooting (27-for-44 FGs, 12-for-24 from three). In Saturday’s 70-62 win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, he had 31, almost half of their points. Look for him to remain in attack mode tomorrow.
Since the Hotshots are on the second day of a back-to-back, though, and fourth game in five days, there’s a chance that Lee may pick his spots early, so the other guys may need to contribute more.
Ian Sangalang, Jackson Corpuz, and the dynamic guard play of Chris Banchero, Mark Barroca, and Jio Jalalon will be the things to watch out for. Jalalon will be building off an 18-point performance.
Magnolia is scoring 91.8 PPG and allowing 90.6 PPG in the conference.
The NorthPort Batang Pier (1-7)
The once-promising squad, which may have been affected deeply by the league’s COVID-19 hiatus, has reverted back to being afterthoughts. NorthPort has dropped each of its three games and is tied for last place in the conference. Three of the last four defeats were also by 12 or more points.
Nevertheless, big man Christian Standhardinger will be in an interesting match-up with Sangalang. As the brightest spot in Northport’s gloomy run, C-Stan is registering a healthy double-double of 18.9 points and 11.4 rebounds per game to go along 4.1 assists.
Shooter Garvo Lanete remains as the reliable second option. He has 14.0 PPG in the conference with a great 51.2% shooting clip from downtown. Lanky forward Kevin Ferrer, meanwhile, is third in the pecking order at 11.3 PPG.
NorthPort is scoring 92 PPG and allowing 100 PPG in the conference.
The Hotshots should have no problem extending their winning streak to five. Expect their guards to take it to the weak Northport defense. Even if Paul Lee cools off, Magnolia’s personnel should have enough to pull off a victory. They take this, 98-90.