The San Miguel Beermen (8-1) will look to build on their 5-game winning streak as they face the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters (7-3). The Tropang Texters themselves have won 3 straight, including a tough overtime victory against Purefoods Star Hotshots Wednesday night.
It will be a clash of differing styles as it’s interior scoring and defense versus speed and shooting. Talk ‘N Text boasts the best offense in the league, scoring 103.1 points per 100 possessions. A big part of that is their pace (92 possessions per 48 minutes – 2nd in the league) and their shooting clip from deep (38.7% – 1st). Bottom line is they love to run and run a lot and it helps that they have multiple athletic slashers and shooters at almost every position. This also helps to negate their lack of any true centers on the roster.
The Beermen are the complete opposite, as they like to slow it down and play the halfcourt game (they have the slowest pace at 86.3 possessions). This takes full use of what will be their biggest advantage against Talk ‘N Text: June Mar Fajardo. It also helps that they are the best defensive team in the league (only 88.8 points allowed per 100 possessions), especially when defending shots from behind the arc (opponents only make 4.4 threes at 23.4% – both #1).
San Miguel will have to establish interior dominance early, in the paint and on the glass. Even though they have the players to do so, they shouldn’t allow themselves to get caught in a running game with Talk ‘N Text. The point guards have to do a good job of controlling the pace and slowing it down. This will probably be their toughest challenge yet. But if they make it a low-scoring affair and avoid giving up easy scoring opportunities, they should stand a good chance of coming out on top.
There have been a lot of scenarios about playoff seeding because of the quotient system. So many things could still happen. For the Beermen however, they still control their own fate. A win here would avoid all these complications and bring them that much closer to clinching the top spot.
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TIME: 7:00 PM
ARENA: SMART-ARANETA COLISEUM
Featured Image Credit: Paul Ryan Tan, Sports5