It will be a rare back-to-back night of action for the league-leading TNT Tropang Giga, who will play the Magnolia Hotshots a day after a date with the NorthPort Batang Pier. Will TNT recover just in time for the Magnolia game? Or, will the Hotshots capitalize on having the fresher set of legs?
Catch this game live on November 4 at 4:00 pm, Manila time.
The Magnolia Hotshots (2-4)
The Hotshots averted what would have been a back-breaking four-game losing skid when they showed no mercy to sister team Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in a 102-92 win on Oct. 25.
It was a game that can be remembered as the Jackson Corpuz game, as the big man channeled his inner Marc Pingris and scored 20 points on an efficient 8-of-12 shooting from the field to go with six rebounds. Corpuz’s aggressiveness around the rim will be needed by Magnolia to counter the athleticism of Tropang Giga’s frontcourt that features the duo of JP Erram and Troy Rosario.
But at the end of the day, the Hotshots are a much better team when Paul Lee is the one leading them. The former UE Red Warrior hasn’t been shooting the ball well of late, going just 7-of-20 from the field in the last two games. He scored 15 points on 4-of-12 shooting against Ginebra.
The Hotshots could get plenty of extra scoring opportunities in this game, as TNT is averaging 18.5 turnovers per game — the most among all teams in this conference, so far. Conversely, Magnolia is tops in the bubble with 21.83 points off turnovers per contest.
The TNT Tropang Giga (6-1)
The Tropang Giga rebounded right away after they got ran over by the NLEX Road Warriors in a 109-98 loss on Oct. 29, as they defeated the undermanned NorthPort Batang Pier Tuesday night, 112-87.
It was an easy win for TNT, which outscored the Batang Pier in the first quarter, 30-13, and didn’t look back the rest of the way. Bobby Parks Jr. put up a stellar stat line featuring 25 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and two streaks in 29 minutes of action.
Parks is going to be a matchup problem for Magnolia, which will have to deal with the second-generation PBA star’s blend of size, speed, muscle, and range. So far this season, Parks is putting up 21.5 points per game.
Even more bad news for the Hotshots is that Parks isn’t even the leading scorer of his team. That would be Roger Pogoy, who is averaging 21.7 points per outing. Parks, Pogoy, and Jayson Castro (16.3PPG) form a triumvirate of an offensive juggernaut that no team has yet to put a clamp on this season. Even in the loss to NLEX, the trio produced 58 points.
Parks, Pogoy, and Jayson Castro take turns in pounding Magnolia’s defense that can’t fully utilize zone defense setups because of TNT’s outside shooting. TNT wins this game, 105-93.