This one’s gonna be fun. Dubbed as Manila Classico for these two team’s long time rivalry in the PBA, expect a great and competitive game as history has shown us that more often than not, those who watch Manile Classico end up getting rewarded with one heck of a ball game.
The story of this game will definitely be the battle of the guards. Ginebra will continueto miss the services of Japeth Aguilar and Kerby Raymundo while San Mig will be missing Joe Devance and Marc Pingris due to suspensions given by the league due to their altercation with Globalport in their last game. Once again, the plot will mainly focus on the popularity of both Mark Caguioa and James Yap, but this game will also be decided by these star’s supporting casts, with great match-ups across the board.
Keys to the game:
1. Dig to the Bigs
Aside from Lowhord, the other Ginebra big men aren’t really capable of scoring inside consistently. However, without Pingris to anchor the San Mig Coffee interior, it gives players like Maierhofer, Wilson and Mamaril a good opportunity to pound the ball inside and get some points. The Ginebra frontline must not have any problems taking care of their Mixers counterparts who will be parading De Ocampo and Reavis as their only local bigs.
2. Tinyente’s World
Ginebra’s success right now is in the hands of LA Tenorio. The Gilas point guard is leading the league in assists with 9.2 assists per game and he is tasked each game to control the flow of the offense and make sure that the team runs smoothly. In this game, he must once again strike the balance between setting up his teammates and getting his own points. It may look simple, but this balance is what makes Ginebra either sputter or hum beautifully.
Marqus Blakely will score in this game, that’s more than a given, but if the Barangay wants to come out with a win, they have to make Blakely earn his points from the charity stripe.In the conference, the high-flying import has only averaged a dismal 34.2% from the line. With him, Ginebra will have to foul early and often to keep him from getting into a rythm.
Key match-up: Mark Caguioa vs. James Yap
The Heart vs. The Face of the PBA. This is going to be a great game to watch as two of the most popular players today square up against each other.
The suspension of Marc Pingris will make it tougher for the Coffee Mixers to defend the paint. Ginebra should be able to take this one against a shorthanded and struggling Mixers team.