The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel are slumping, and they will look to recover from their malaise as they face sister-franchise San Miguel Beermen in what should be a high-octane battle in the bubble Friday night.
Catch this game live on October 30 at 6:45 pm, Manila time.
The San Miguel Beermen (4-2)
The Beermen are leaving teams intoxicated with their play of late. Riding on the resurgence of big man Moala Tautuaa, San Miguel has stitched together three wins a row after defeating the Meralco Bolts Wednesday night, 89-82.
Tautuaa has been on a dominant stretch ever since he was embarrassed by JP Erram in an earlier loss to the TNT Tropang Giga. He recorded 16 points, six rebounds, and six assists in SMB’s 92-88 win over the Alaska Aces on Oct. 24 then followed that up with even better performance by scoring 23 points against the Bolts. Ginebra has muscle in the frontcourt even though they no longer have Greg Slaughter, but with the way Tautuaa is playing, stopping him on single coverage is going to be tough for the Barangay.
The other Beermen veterans are also picking up steam, including Arwind Santos, who’s scored 17 points in back-to-back games, heading into this date with Ginebra.
The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (4-2)
The Barangay are suddenly on a losing streak. After opening the conference like a house on fire with four wins in a row, Ginebra have now lost their last two games. In their last outing, they absorbed an 85-82 loss at the hands of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters last Tuesday.
Ginebra head coach Tim Cone knows that defense will be key for them against the Beermen, particularly in the paint, after they got carved up by Beau Belga in the Rain or Shine game. Preventing entry passes to Tautaa will be as crucial for Ginebra as Japeth Aguilar’s rim protection. Aguilar is averaging 1.0 block per game this conference.
One way for Ginebra to solve Tautuaa is to attack him early and put the Fil-Tongan in foul trouble. Tautuaa has picked up at least four fouls in each of San Miguel’s last two games.
Ginebra neutralizes Mo Tautuaa, who struggles with foul trouble, resulting in plenty of scoring opportunities in the paint by the Barangay’s slashers. Ginebra wins this game, 100-95.