In their initial encounter this conference, it was the Batang Pier who came away with the W against the STAR Hotshots, 91-89. But since then, there has been some changes made for both teams as they duel for a spot in the semifinal round of this year’s Governor’s Cup.
For the Batang Pier, one major adjustment they did was to replace their reinforcement. After Patrick O’Bryant and Steve Thomas, GlobalPort decided to bring in Jarrid Famous. And it was one of the best moves they’ve made in a long time as they had their best elimination round finish (4th – with a twice-to-beat advantage too) with Famous at the helm. He’s been dominating the boards in 7 games and it seems that nobody can stop Mr. Famous (He’s currently averaging 24.4 rebounds per game and even had a game wherein he was able to collar 37 boards!). With him at the middle, guys like Romeo, Pringle, and Krayem have had more confidence to fire those long bombs. This scary inside-outside game of GlobalPort is what makes them a very tough team to play against.
As for STAR, there have been some changes as well. Early in the conference, they were really struggling as a team and Coach Tim was busy finding the right combinations that could work for the team. Luckily for the Hotshots, it seems that Coach Tim was able to figure it out before it’s too late. Because of his adjustments (that resulted into an improvement of the performances of STAR’s core), the Hotshots were able to win 5 of their last 6 games to grab the 5th seed in this year’s playoffs. STAR has been on a roll as of late and when they are playing like this, they’re a hard team to stop.
However, in this match-up against the Batang Pier, they must beat them twice in order to stay alive. Yes, GlobalPort is an offensive killing machine but STAR has the tools to stop their attack. The Hotshots will be banking on their defense, team play, and numerous playoff experiences against this talented, young, and hungry Batang Pier side. Although the odds are stacked against them as Coach Tim and the Hotshots have never won a series wherein they had a twice-to-beat disadvantage, I believe there’s always a first time for everything. And for the STAR Hotshots, I think that this will be it.
TV: LIVE ON TV5 AND AKSYONTV
RADIO: RADYO 92.3 NEWS FM AND DZSR 918 KHZ AM
TIME: 4:15 PM
ARENA: SMART-ARANETA COLISEUM
Featured Image Credit: GMA Sports & Glenn Michael Tan, PhilippineSports.Net (Edited by: MI.NI Graphics and Design)