The undefeated Barangay Ginebra San Miguel take aim at extending their win streak to four games when they play the Phoenix Fuel Masters, who are looking to rebound after suffering their first loss of the season earlier this week.
Catch this game live on October 21 at 6:45 pm, Manila time.
The Phoenix Fuel Masters (2-1)
The Fuel Masters are looking to recover from a loss in their most recent outing. Despite being up by nine points at the half of last Monday’s date with the TNT Tropang Giga, the Fuelmasters were not able to sustain their form during the final two quarters of their 110-91 loss to Jayson Castro and company.
Matthew Wright paced all scorers in the TNT game with 31 points, but no other Phoenix starter had more than seven points. Wright is currently the PBA’s leading scorer this conference, as he is averaging 30.0 points per game on 44 FG%, but up against a deep Ginebra squad, Phoenix needs all hands on deck to keep up with the Barangay.
That was how Phoenix got a 110-105 win over the NorthPort Batang Pier on Oct. 15, when Jason Perkins and Justin Chua provided 31 and 17 points, respectively, while Wright had 23 points.
Phoenix is the league’s top outside shooting team so far in the conference, as the Fuelmasters are knocking down 17.0 3-pointers per game on 41 3FG%.
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (3-0)
The Barangay are on a roll despite playing in an unfamiliar atmosphere of an empty stadium. They have zoomed to a 3-0 start this conference, thanks in large part to a number of role players stepping up and blending in nicely with the play of the team’s top players.
Among them are the pair of Aljon Mariano and Prince Caperal, who is slowly proving himself as a key cog for Ginebra, which beat the Meralco Bolts last Sunday, 105-91.
Caperal is second on the team with 14.6 points per game, while shooting 69 3FG%. His ability to stretch the floor as a big man is opening up space in the middle for the likes of Stanley Pringle and Mariano. Pringle leads Ginebra with 15.0 points per game, while Mariano (12.0 PPG) is one of six Ginebra players averaging at least 10 points a game.
Ginebra’s guard attack consisted of Scottie Thompson, LA Tenorio, and Pringle should be a handful for Phoenix, considering that the Fuel Masters don’t have any reliable defenders in the point and shooting guard positions.
Phoenix will struggle to contain Ginebra’s guards, especially Thompson and Pringle, who are just too quick and athletic for the Fuel Masters’ backcourt defense. Ginebra wins this game, 107-102.