Two weeks ago, the Philippine Basketball Association resumed its 45th Season to finish out the 2020 Philippine Cup. Fast forward to today, the league has already played 31 games, including the first game in March, making it a total of 32 games. That means we’re now approaching the second half of the elimination round.
Before we do enter the second half of the season, let’s look back at the first half of the 2020 season.
No, we won’t be talking about the recent Covid-19 scare inside the PBA bubble at Clark, Pampanga. We’ll just talk about basketball. We’ll check out how the teams are doing in the first half of the season.
Despite the crazy things that’s been surrounding the bubble, the level of basketball has been phenomenal. For the first time in my life, I saw a dude drop 45-points despite being away from basketball for half a year, exactly what Talk and Text (TNT) star RR Pogoy did in the first game of the PBA bubble.
Pogoy isn’t the only one who pulled off big things as well. Ray Parks followed it up in their next game with a 40-point performance which made the two the first duo since the legendary tandem of Ronnie Magsanoc (40 points) and Benjie Paras (45 points) to drop 40 points apiece in the first two games of the season.
Now you might be thinking that the Tropang Giga have such a stack line-up so this is expected. Well, you may have a point, but another evidence of a high-level of competition is that out of the 31 games in the bubble there are 13 games that were decided by seven points or less.
So far, Phoenix’s Matthew Wright leads the league with 25.5 points per game, while CJ Perez is a close second with 25.3 points. Pogoy isn’t far off in third place with 24.2.
NorthPort big-man Christian Standhardinger is dominating the boards with 11.4 a game and Arwind Santos of San Miguel is right behind with 10.6 rebounds per game, while Jason Perkins of the Fuel Masters is averaging 10.5 a game.
Barangay Ginebra star Scottie Thompson is the assists leader so far with 6.2 a game with Batang Pier captain Sean Anthony right behind him with 5.8 dimes a game and TNT’s Jayson Castro at third with 5.5 per game.
A rookie is dominating the shooting percentage with 75% as Alaska’s Barkely Eboña proves his worth in the league. Kings’ veteran Jeff Chan is shooting 66.7% while Parks is averaging 62.5%.
Another evidence that Parks has been on fire is the fact that he’s the league leader in three-point percentage so far with 60% while Barangay Ginebra’s Prince Caperal is closely behind him with 59.1% and Garvo Lanete of NorthPort sitting at third with 48.4%.
Jeff Chan of Barangay Ginebra leads the league in three point shooting with a 67% clip, but only takes two a game. The leaders for volume shooters were Ray Parks, who’s shooting 60% on just over six three pointers a game, and Prince Caperal, who’s at 59% with 4.4 attempts per game.
Wright has been locked in on his free-throw shooting with 90% while the Beermen’s marksman Marcio Lassiter behind him with 89%. NLEX’s Kiefer Ravena sits in third with 88%.
Perez is proving to be one of the deadliest two-way players in the league as he also leads the league in steals with three per game and San Miguel’s Chris Ross in only behind him with 2.4 game. Mark Barocca of the Hotshots is averaging 2.2 steals per game.
Lastly, Phoenix’s Justin Chua and Dave Marcelo are the blocks leaders with 1.5 and 1.3 per game, followed by Kings Japeth Aguilar with 1.2 a game.
We’ve been seeing a lot of surprising performances in the bubble so far. Guys like Caperal, who have been stepping up Barangay Ginebra, Jackson Corpuz, who put up 20 points and six rebounds for Magnolia in his frist Manila Classico game.
Rookies like Eboña and Arvin Tolentino of the Kings has been stepping up and proving their worth for their teams.
So far, despite the improvement of the competition in the PBA, two teams have been miles better than others.
TNT and the Barangay Ginebra have been showing up their championship mentality this season and look to be the favorites to make the finals.
Both teams have insane amount of talented players and yet both teams have been successful in playing as a unit rather than relying to one or two guys.
The Tropang Giga are currently at the top of the standings with a 5-0 record while the Kings suffered their first loss of the season last night against the Hotshots, 92-102.
So far, we’ve been seeing great basketball. I don’t know about you all, but I can’t wait to see the rest of the season.
Who do you guys think will surprise us in the second half of the season? Sound off below in the comment section!