The Purefoods Star Hotshots (3-3) look to extend their 2-game winning streak against a rejuvenated Meralco Bolts side (4-3) in Biñan, Laguna this coming Sunday. Purefoods have just scored their first back-to-back wins this conference in their last 2 games against NLEX and Blackwater respectively. On the other hand, Meralco was able to arrest their 3-game losing streak at the expense of Barangay Ginebra just yesterday in Antipolo, 109-99.
Although both teams have offensive firepower (i.e. PJ Simon + James Yap for PFS and Gary David + Jared Dillinger for MER), defense will play a major role in determining the outcome of this game. Both teams are above the league average in terms of defense at #5 (PFS 98.9 DRTG) and #6 (MER 98.5 DRTG) respectively. Energy guys like Marc Pingris and Cliff Hodge would also be a major factor as their effort and hustle plays on the defensive end would dictate how this game is gonna be played. However, Meralco has the slight advantage as they are 3rd in the league when it comes to forcing turnovers at 16.7 TOV%. Purefoods must be able to control the pace of this game to their favor to avoid costly turnovers against this dangerous Meralco side.
With the way Meralco played against Ginebra, it would be hard not to predict a win for them. After losing three straight games under Coach Norman Black this conference, I think his wards finally figured out what it takes to win games. Also, with Purefoods coming off a 4-day break (as compared to Meralco’s 1-day rest), in-game timing and rust will be an issue for the team.
Fearless forecast: Purefoods is going to struggle in this game and Meralco wins it by 10 (+/- 3) points. Sana lang mali hula ko. Haha!
TV: LIVE ON TV5 AND AKSYONTV
RADIO: RADYO5 92.3 NEWS FM AND DZSR 918 KHZ AM
TIME: 5:15 PM
ARENA: BIÑAN, LAGUNA
Featured Image Credit: Nuki Sabio, PBA (Edit: NCM)