It’s another battle of winless teams as the San Miguel Beermen (0-2) find themselves in a virtual must-win situation against the Blackwater Elite (0-3). Though they may be winless, San Miguel can’t take Blackwater, or anyone for that matter, lightly at this point. After two bad losses, they need to show some signs of life and relieve some of the pressure.
Statistically, Blackwater doesn’t do anything all that well. They are the worst offensive team (86.2 points per 100 possessions) and tied for the third worst defense (102.4 points given up per 100 possessions). They’re not a good shooting team overall (43.3 eFG% – eighth) and don’t attack the offensive glass to compensate (22 ORB% – last) nor do they get to the line (13 FT attempts – last). To be fair, they are currently the fourth best three-point shooting team at 29.6%, including a 42.9% clip (6/14) in their loss against the Purefoods Star Hotshots. They’re just not a good team. Of course, I said the same thing about Kia Carnival and look what happened. The gameplan for San Miguel has to be pretty much the same as the first two game: take care of the ball, shut down the paint, and avoid giving up easy points (especially with the amount of freethrows they’ve allowed).
They have to watch out for two players in particular. One is a familiar face for June Mar Fajardo as he goes up against one of his Gilas mentors in Marcus Douthit. He’s been having a good two games, filling in for injured Chris Charles, tallying 22 points, 14.5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks – all team-highs. His FG% is relatively low at 42.9% but has gotten to the line 20 times already. Though he’s a step slower, his length and experience advantage over both Fajardo and Ronald Roberts, Jr. should still pose problems. His frontcourt partner in Bryan Faundo will only add to that, averaging 16.3 points and 5.3 boards, following up his 11-point, 8-rebound performance in the Philippine Cup. Not really a back-to-the-basket big man, he prefers to get his points off-ball. As such, the Beermen can’t be caught ball-watching and lose track of their man, including the perimeter guys.
The Beermen have shown themselves fully capable of recovering after bad losses and should look to do the same here. As long as don’t underestimate this team, they should be able to finally get on the winning track.
Featured Image Credit: Paul Ryan Tan, Sports5