The team everyone’s been waiting for will finally see action in the 2021 Philippine Cup, as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel go for win no. 1 when they take on the NLEX Road Warriors Sunday afternoon.
Catch this game live on July 18 at 4:35 pm, Manila time.
The NLEX Road Warriors (0-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kiefer Ravena
- SG: Kevin Alas
- SF: Anthony Semerad
- PF: JR Quinahan
- C: Raul Soyud
The Road Warriors did not have a good start to their 2021 PBA Philippine Cup campaign on Friday, as they absorbed a gut-wrenching 83-82 loss at the hands of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
The loss shouldn’t shadow the excellent performance of Kiefer Ravena, though. He led the Road Warriors with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting to go with four rebounds, seven assists, and three steals. What was missing for NLEX was support from the other starters. Kevin Alas had 13 points but he shot just 5 of 13, while Raul Soyud, Anthony Semerad, and JR Quinahan combined for just 17 points on 5-of-24 shooting.
Perhaps, head coach Yeng Guiao will alter the composition of the starting unit just like he always does. The Road Warriors’ bench got good performances from Don Trollano (11 points 5/10 FG) and Jericho Cruz (10 points 4/7 FG), though rookie Calvin Oftana had a sour pro debut, with just a point while shooting 0 of 5. That could just be attributed to jitters, and he should only play better going forward.
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (0-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: LA Tenorio
- SG: Scottie Thompson
- SF: Stanley Pringle
- PF: Japeth Aguilar
- C: Christian Standhardinger
The reigning Philippine Cup champions will start their title defense full of confidence — and with a stack of great talents. Having moved on completely from the Greg Slaughter controversy, Ginebra will now parade a shiny new big man in Christian Standhardinger.
That’s an incredible upgrade in the frontcourt of the Barangay, which will pair Standhardinger with Japeth Aguilar. That tandem is good enough to handle business for Gilas, what more if they get matched up against Soyud and 37-year-old Quinahan which is exactly what they’re going to get Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, the backcourt will be led by Tenorio, Thompson, and Pringle — a speedy trio who can do just as much damage offensively and defensively.
Ginebra’s defense will be a big threat to the Road Warriors. Ravena will find it harder to get buckets and dish dimes while being covered by Barangay’s stop unit that held opponents down to just 86.1 points per game in the last conference.
On paper alone, Ginebra’s lineup is heads-and-shoulders better overall than NLEX’s. There could be some rust to shake off for the Barangay, though, as this will be their first game, while the Road Warriors have finally dusted off the cobwebs. Ginebra takes a win by at least 10 points here.