After three games this conference, the STAR Hotshots (1-2) are far from where they would’ve wanted to be. Losing back-to-back games against GlobalPort and Meralco (games that I felt they should’ve won; lost both games by only two points), they have to dig deeper as they’ll be facing a streaking team in their next game, the San Miguel Beermen (2-2).
The Hotshots have a tough time ahead of them as they will have to handle the inside-outside attack of the Beermen. SMB is second in the league in terms of 3FGA per game with a 35.9 3FG% (2nd). Inside of course, STAR’s bigmen will have their hands full against one of the leading MVP canditates in the “Kraken,” June Mar Fajardo.
They would have to center their attack inside the shaded lane as they are struggling with their shooting right now (starting from the mid-range area all the way to the three-point line). Three games into this conference, STAR is dead last in terms of three-point shooting with an atrocious clip of 21.7% from deep. It will be a surprise (but not entirely impossible) if they shoot well from the outside in this game. And It would be a really big help for the team if the designated gunners would hit their mark (finally) and shoot with a better percentage in this game (especially James Yap and PJ Simon).
Spicing things up for this match-up is the battle between tried and tested imports in the PBA, Arizona Reid and Marqus Blakely. It will be interesting to see who will dominate the game with their performance. Reid is a well-known offensive threat while Blakely is more of an all-around guy. Both of them know each other very well having had battles in the past when Reid was still with Rain or Shine. The big question for this game would be, will Reid’s offense be too much for the Hotshots? Or will Blakely’s energy be too much for the Beermen?
However, looking at the way things are going for both teams, the Hotshots would be very lucky to escape with a win against the Beermen. If they do lose on the other hand, it won’t be a surprise anymore. Hopefully, STAR could prove me wrong on this one.
TV: LIVE ON TV5 and AKSYONTV
RADIO: RADYO 92.3 NEWS FM AND DZSR 918 KHZ AM
TIME: 5:15 PM
ARENA: SMART-ARANETA COLISEUM
Featured Image Credit: Mandy Mangubat, The Shaded Lane; Sherwin Vardeleon, CNN Philippines; Paul Ryan Tan, Sports 5 (Edited by: MI.NI Graphics and Design)