Two of the most successful PBA franchises will collide this Friday, as the defending Philippine Cup champions San Miguel Beermen take on fierce rivals, TNT Tropang Giga in the second offering of a double-header to end the workweek.
Catch this game live on October 16 at 6:45 PM, Manila time.
The San Miguel Beermen (1-1)
Marcio Lassiter seems to be liking the vibes of the PBA bubble in Angeles City. The sharpshooter is off to a fantastic start, as he’s leading the Beermen with 18.5 points per game on 54 FG%. He’s been especially deadly from deep, where he’s made seven of 12 3-pointers in two games this conference.
The Beermen’s guards really have to step up, with Junemar Fajardo sitting out the conference, and so far, Lassiter is answering the call.
That said, Fajardo is still clearly missed by San Miguel, which has been outrebounded in each of the last two games. In their 87-83 loss to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters last Tuesday, the Beerman lost the glass battle, 61-46.
Terrence Romeo was also slow on offense in that game, as he went just 5-for-16 from the field (1-9 3FG) for 11 points. Romeo could be in for a big bounce-back game against Tropang Giga’s letdown leaky defense that has allowed 196 points over the last two games.
The TNT Tropang Giga (2-0)
Afte Roger Pogoy exploded for a career-high 45 points in the Tropang Giga’s 100-95 win over the Alaska Aces last Sunday, another TNT player went off in their follow-up 112-101 victory against the lowly Terrafirma Dyip last Tuesday.
That was second-generation PBA star Bobby Ray Parks, who debuted in the bubble by stuffing the stat sheets with 40 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists in 38 minutes of floor duty.
Parks also went 7-of-10 from long range. He’ll be a problem for San Miguel’s defense, which will still have to worry about Pogoy and Jason Castro. All three can break down defenses with their elite individual playmaking, while still operating within a system. In fact, TNT is averaging 21.0 assists per game.
With Fajardo out of the picture for San Miguel, the Tropang Giga are looking at the prospect of dominating the rebounding battle. San Miguel is second-worst in the PBA this conference with just 40.0 rebounds per game, while TNT is third with 50.5 per contest.
The Tropang Giga control the tempo of the game in their favor, thanks to their rebounding dominance, while Castro, Parks, and Pogoy take turns in punishing the Beermen’s perimeter and interior defense. TNT wins this game, 93-89.