After their successful outing in their last game against the Bolts, Ginebra is gunning for their 2nd straight win against the upstart Barako Bull. who have played above expectations so far this conference.
LA Tenorio will continue to lead the team together with import Dior Lowhorn and MVP Mark Caguioa. Meanwhile, the Barako Bull Energy Colas will be lead by high scoring import Mike Singletary and suprising rookie Emman Monfort.
This will be a very important game for both teams. For Ginebra, a win will push them to a tie for the second spot with Globalport while a win for Barako will move them to a tie in the top spot with Petron. With each team only playing nine games this conference, every game carries more weight than the previous one.
Here are Ginebra’s key to the game:
1. Slow down Mike
Barako Bull import Mike Singletary has showed has scored the ball insanely well in their first three games. He’s currently averaging 36.6 points in 42 minutes of action. Nobody can stop a great scorer like Singletary, but he surely can be slowed down to an extent. Chris Ellis’ defense will be tested as he will be Ginebra’s main perimeter defender against Singletary. He will be tasked to force the Barako Bull import to earn every single one of his points. On the other end of the floor, Ellis must also stay aggressive in order to put pressure on Singletary’s defense and tire him out.
2. Share the wealth
Ginebra must continue to share the ball and keep the opposing defense on their toes. The Gin Kings are currently the top team in terms of assists this conference, averaging 22 dimes per game. The 8.5 per game league assist leader LA Tenorio must take charge of the team’s offense and balance setting up his teammates with his personal scoring.
3. Break out
Some of Ginebra’s players are due for a breakout game. I’m talking about Mark Caguioa and Mac Baracael. The Spark hasn’t had an efficient game so far and the fans are waiting for a scoring explosion that only he could deliver. Baracael on the other hand, is only averaging 2.0 points in their first two games. Both guys need to snap out of their slumps if Ginebra wants to continue winning this conference.
Key Match-up: LA Tenorio vs. Emman Monfort
It’s a battle between the Gineral vs. the man with a minion moves. Tenorio had a breakout game last time out producing a strong all around performance with 34 points 7 boards and 7 assists. While Monfort, who has been the feel good story of this conference, is averaging career high’s in all categories (14.3 points 5.3 assists in 34 minutes of action). This will be an exciting battle between the two former Blue Eagles.
This will be a grind out battle for both teams, but I expect Ginebra to pull this one off. It’s a perfect time for Caguioa and Baracael to break out, plus Lowhorn’s advantage inside should be too much for the Energy Cola to handle.