After a strong finish against Kia Sorento, the San Miguel Beermen will need more of the same as they take on the always-dangerous GlobalPort Batang Pier. Defense will be the key here as Globalport is currently the second best offensive team in the league thanks in no small part to their 3-point shooting. I don’t think anyone has forgotten their shooting display against the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters that led them to a win, as they sizzled for 15 makes on 53.6% shooting. For the conference, they’re averaging 8 made 3s on a 37.8% clip, both second-best marks. They’re usually a hot hand away from turning a game around and that is what San Miguel should be wary off. Luckily, they have only allowed 5 3s on 28.2% shooting. They have to continue doing a good job of closing out on shooters and forcing to drive for tough, contested 2s instead.
Speaking of defense, they will have to key in on GlobalPort’s infamous 3-guard lineup of rookie Stanley Pringle, the explosive Terrence Romeo, and former San Miguel/Petron point man Alex Cabagnot. With San Miguel’s relatively small wing rotation (as opposed to say Purefoods with Joe Devance), expect them to play all 3 often. It will be a rough day if the likes of Chris Ross, Chris Lutz, and Marcio Lassiter are unable to contain them. The bigs will have to be ready as well if the trio are able to drive into the paint, something that I expect to happen a lot.
As long as they have a stronger start than they did against Kia, the Beermen should find themselves in a good position to win this game. As usual, their biggest advantage is still inside the paint. They just have to make sure to limit GlobalPort’s efficient outside shooting. Once again, I expect a difficult match that ends in another W.
Injury update: Doug Kramer announced that he is ready to rejoin the lineup, a big boost to what was a thin frontline. Before he was sidelined with that ankle injury, he normed 6 points and 5 rebounds on 66.7% FGs. The question now is how effective he will be fresh off what he called the most painful sprain he has ever experienced.
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TIME: 4:15 PM
ARENA: SMART-ARANETA COLISEUM
Featured Image Credit: Paul Ryan Tan, Sports5