The Magnolia Hotshots will be the next team to try to give the TNT Tropang Giga their first loss of the season. It’s going to be easier said than done, but in any case, this is a game you don’t want to miss.

Catch this game live on September 5 at 7 pm, Manila time.

The Magnolia Hotshots (5-1)

Projected Starting Five:

PG: Jio Jalalon
SG: Paul Lee
SF: Rome dela Rosa
PF: Calvin Abueva
C: Ian Sangalang

Magnolia did not waste time bouncing back from a gut-wrenching 95-94 loss to the Meralco Bolts on Wednesday. The Hotshots recovered from that defeat right away, as they scored a 94-78 win over the Blackwater Bossing on Friday. Magnolia’s defense repeatedly punished the Bossing, forcing 17 Blackwater turnovers and scoring 27 points off those errors. The Hotshots will have to keep that pressure up against TNT that’s so good in taking care of the leather. The Tropang Giga are No. 1 this conference with just a 7.66 TOV%. 

Conversely, the Hotshots are pretty good in that department as well. They are directly behind TNT with just 11.04%. The trio of Paul Lee, Calvin Abueva, and Ian Sangalang will be a handful for TNT, especially with all these players coming off good performances in the Blackwater game. Sangalang led the Hotshots with 16 points, while Lee and Abueva had 15 and 14 points, respectively. Abueva also had 10 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks. Rookie Jerrick Ahanmisi is another player to watch out for over at the side of Magnolia after the rookie came off the bench against Blackwater and fired 12 points.


The TNT Tropang Giga (5-0)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Brain Heruela
  • SG: RR Pogoy
  • SF: Mikey Williams
  • PF: Troy Rosario
  • C: Kelly Williams

Welcome to the Mikey Williams Show. Williams had the breakout game of his young PBA career on Friday, leading the Tropang Giga to a 91-76 win over sister team Meralco by scoring 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting from the field, including a 5-of-10 line from deep. Williams is adding even more fire to a TNT team that also features deadly scorers in RR Pogoy and Jayson Castro. Pogoy had 20 points against the Bolts, though he struggled again with his outside shot. He missed all five 3-point attempts and is now sporting an anemic 14.29 3FG%. 

Nevertheless, he’ll always be a threat from anywhere on the floor, keeping opposing defenses on their toes. Even though TNT, which is averaging 87.2 points per game, was only 8-of-34 from behind the arc against Meralco, the Tropang Giga managed to get 19 offensive rebounds and score 25 second-chance points. Troy Rosario and Kelly Williams have always been active on the glass. They will be key in limiting the impact of Sangalang and Abueva on Sunday.


Spread: The Tropang Giga continue to win games despite their utterly bad 3-point shooting. This could be a game where they catch fire from deep. It should be remembered that Magnolia allowed Blackwater to knock down six 3-pointers in the Bossing’s first 12 attempts from deep. Take TNT to win and cover (+2).

Over/Under: I’m loving the firepower of both teams. I’m expecting lots of offense in this game. Take the Over (170.5).