The Purefoods Star Hotshots (5-5) look to arrest their 2-game losing skid and end the elimination round on a winning note as they go up against Barako Bull Energy Cola (4-6).

It will be an interesting match-up as both teams recently engaged in a trade (just approved by the Commisioner’s office) that sent seldom-used big men Isaac Holstein and Ronnie Matias to Barako in exchange for veteran center Mick Pennisi. In my opinion, it was a good trade for Purefoods. Pennisi, who has been averaging 7.00 points, 5.00 rebounds, and 1.10 assists for the Energy Cola, would be a welcome addition to the front line of Purefoods. As they have been missing the services of talented forward Ian Sangalang, and the addition of Don Allado didn’t have that much of an impact, Coach Tim Cone and the hotshots are hoping the experienced Pennisi can help them complete their quest for  a fifth straight championship. Pennisi’s outside sniping and veteran smarts would be a huge boost for the team.

Despite Pennisi being on their side already in this game, Purefoods have a lot of other things to worry about on the side of Barako Bull in this game. It would not be a walk in the park as they are up against a dangerous squad full of talented guards who can take over the game at any point in the game. Mark Barroca, Alex Mallari, and Justin Melton would have their hands full against Denok Miranda, RR Garcia, and Carlo Lastimosa. Aside from these players, momentum is also on the side of Barako Bull as they’re currently on a 2-game winning streak.

I expect this game to be a tightly contested as this will be a critical game in determining the seeding for the playoffs. Purefoods must be able to set the tone especially on the defensive end to get the win which would be a huge psychological advantage for them entering the playoffs.


TIME: 2:00 PM

Featured Image Credit: Mandy Mangubat and Mon Rubio, The Shaded Lane (Edit: MI.NI)