If any of you were to look up the phrase, “reversal of fortunes” and what it means, you could probably easily relate it to this coming match-up between the Philippine Cup champions, San Miguel Beer, and the Commissioner’s Cup champions, Talk ‘N Text. After a 0-2 start to the Governors’ Cup, the Beermen have racked up 6 consecutive wins and are definitely looking to make it 7 after this game. Talk ‘N Text on the other hand started with a 3-1 record in this conference, but has since lost 3 straight, and are in danger of falling deeper into the standings. What exactly happened to the Tropang Texters, and what can they do against the Beermen to get back to their winning ways?
First of all, they definitely have to play better defense. In their 3-game losing skid, Talk ‘N Text has allowed its opponents to score an average of 110ppg, and shoot at a 55.3 eFG% clip. That’s just too much, especially since in their first four games of the conference, they only allowed opponents 95.8ppg, and 44.0 eFG%. In addition, San Miguel Beer ranks 3rd in points per game (101.6), 3rd in eFG% (50.1) for the conference, and 3rd in ORTG (108.0), so the Tropang Texter defense has to step up in this game.
But actually, if you think about it, both teams are quite similar in terms of playing style. They both rely heavily on guard play to run their offense. They both like to move the ball around and look for the high-percentage shots. And both teams prefer an up-tempo, high-scoring kind of game.
In the table below, you can see just how similar their strengths actually are:
With these numbers being so similar, a slight dip in performance from one team could spell the difference between winning and losing this match-up. That being said, Talk ‘N Text has been experiencing quite a slump with their passing game lately, averaging only 13.3 assists in their 3-game losing streak. Plus they’re the team that commits the 3rd most turnovers in the league (16.4), so they really have to focus on fixing this problem against the Beermen.
Finally, despite all the similarities these teams have, San Miguel Beer still has one distinct difference-maker on their team that Talk ‘N Text has to deal with, and he’s the Kraken, June Mar Fajardo. If you look at the Talk ‘N Text roster, their only legitimate center who can match-up size-wise with Fajardo is probably Rob Reyes, who barely sees playing time. That means the less conventional Tropang Texter bigmen have their work cut out for them, as the Kraken has been putting up monster numbers (16.3 pts, 61.4 FG%, 14.5 rebs) yet again this conference.
As a team, San Miguel Beer also likes to crash the boards, averaging 49.9 total rebounds per game (ranked 2nd). Against a smaller Talk ‘N Text team, it might also be important to note that the Beermen thrive on offensive rebounds (16.5, ranked 3rd) and second chance points (14.3, ranked 3rd). Although Talk ‘N Text as a team rebounds the ball well on the defensive end at 35.4 DREBs per game (ranked 1st), they’ll still probably have their work cut out for them on the glass.
Featured Image Credit: Paul Mata, Sports5