After a one week break, the San Miguel Beermen are at back at it tomorrow as they go up against the Barako Bull Energy, another team looking to get their first win of the season.
The Energy are likely hungry to finally break through as they coming from to tough losses to the Globalport Batangpier and Meralco Bolts in overtime. Meanwhile, the Beermen are looking to keep pace with conference leaders Alaska Aces.
San Miguel’s defense will be tested as Barako don’t really have that ‘go to’ scorer as former Beermen Chico Lanete and Dennok Miranda led the way in their last 2 games, top scoring with 26 and 16 points respectively. As such, any one of them could wax hot in a hurry. They will also have to be wary of their offensive rebounding (17.5 per game leading to 15.5 second chance opportunities). What hey lack in height, they make up for in heft and effort. Lastly, owing to not having to rely on just one or two players to score, their bench have outscored their opponents so far 106-90. It’s up to Ronald Tubid, Doug Kramer, and company to once again anchor the 2nd unit, who’s done a respectable job so far (27.5 PPG).
The key match-up will, once again, be June Mar Fajardo against Mick Pennisi. Fortunately for Fajardo, the other half of the bruise brothers in Dorian Pena is not in the lineup. Nonetheless it will still be a tough cover on both sides. But with his expanding offensive game, he might find an easier time to deal with Pennisi’s bruising brand of defense.
As long as San Miguel’s defense holds true, deny Barako easy scoring opportunities, and keep feeding the ball down low, they should find themselves on a comfortable 3-game winning streak.
Featured Image Credit: Paolo Papa, Sports5