The NorthPort Batang Pier just want to put an end to their woes, and they will try today against the San Miguel Beermen, who are still hoping to finish the regular season inside the top four.
Catch this game live at 6:45 pm, Manila time.
The San Miguel Beermen (6-4)
The Beermen gave themselves a reason to crack open a cold one last Sunday, as they defeated sister team Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 81-66. Perhaps the most surprising takeaway from that game was how San Miguel held Ginebra down to just 66 points.
Mo Tautuaa feasted in that game, as he came away with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. He obviously capitalized on the limited playing time of Japeth Aguilar, as he also had 11 rebounds in 38 minutes of action.
Tautuaa has been the most consistent player for San Miguel this season, and he’ll look to carve up NorthPort’s defense that is third-worst in the PBA this conference in terms of scoring defense, with 98.1 points allowed per game. Opponents are also shooting 43.8 FG% against the Batang Pier, which is third-highest as well in the 2020 Philippine Cup.
The job on both ends of the floor should also be easier for the Beermen if Sean Anthony misses this game. The do-it-all NorthPort forward has sat out the past three weeks due to a hamstring injury.
The NorthPort Batang Pier (1-8)
The Batang Pier got shipwrecked on Sunday once again, absorbing an 83-76 loss at the hands of the Magnolia Hotshots. NorthPort has lost all its last four games despite the monster effort Christian Standhardinger is putting up day in and day out.
Standhardinger had a double-double of 18 points and 17 rebounds in the Magnolia game. In a previous loss to the Alaska Aces, the Fil-German exploded for 39 points to go with 16 boards.
Standhardinger has clearly established the narrative that NorthPort can always count on him to deliver the goods even in losses, so the real question for the Batang Pier is whether their peripheral players can provide ample support to their star big man, especially with Sean Anthony out with an injury.
Maybe Jervy Cruz can help. It could be remembered that the former UAAP MVP put up 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor in NorthPort’s 127-119 upset win over the Beermen in last year’s meeting between the two teams during the 2019 Governors’ Cup. Kevin Ferrer, another former UST Tigers product, also had a great performance in that game, scoring 17 points to go along with five rebounds and three steals.
San Miguel will pounce on the Batang Pier’s penchant for shooting themselves in the foot with questionable decisions and an undisciplined approach to the game, as the Beermen take a 95-84 win.