After a rude awakening last Wednesday, the San Miguel Beermen (0-1) look to get on the winning track as they face what could be a desperate Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (0-2) team.

Ginebra is undergoing a critical identity crisis as their bigs (Greg Slaughter, Mike Dunigan, Japeth Aguilar) dictate that they play more halfcourt but coaching and management wants to return to a run and gun style of play. The result has been brutal: a slow pace (85.9 possessions used – second slowest) and bad shooting (40.8 TS%) leading to the worst offense in the league so far at just 82.8 points per 100 possessions. To add to their troubles, they only have 13 fastbreak points TOTAL in two games. For comparison’s sake, league-leader Purefoods has 51 in three. Small sample size but they’re pretty much a mess right now, something San Miguel should be able to take advantage of.

Though they had a poor shooting night against Kia, disciplined defense should be the name of the game. They can’t allow Ginebra to go to the line 30+ times. There won’t be another Peter John Ramos to double this time so June Mar Fajardo and Ronald Roberts, Jr. should be more than enough to handle both Slaughter and Dunigan. That should allow the other three Beermen to stick to their man spotting up or cutting to the rim. They also have to take care of the defensive glass as about the only thing Ginebra has done well is grab offensive rebounds, able to get 31.1% of their own misses. What they haven’t done is convert them to second chance points, just 14 total. The Beermen would do well to continue that trend. Offensively, it is critical that they don’t repeat their 1-24 performance from deep so as to spread the floor for Fajardo and Roberts to operate in the paint.

With additional time to practice and get back into game shape, San Miguel should look a lot better and more in-sync on Sunday and hopefully grab the W.

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TIME: 5:15 PM
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Featured Image Credit: Paul Ryan Tan, Sports5