With four teams having clinched quarterfinals seats and one squad officially out of contention, the race to the playoffs is shaping up to be a good one. Expected contenders like TNT, San Miguel, and Meralco are still in danger of getting eliminated, and they just have a couple more games to work their magic.
Check out the latest Dribble Media PBA Power Rankings to see how your favorite team is performing heading into the last two weeks of the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations.
1. Bay Area Dragons (9-2)
Offensive Rating: 114.3 (1st) | Defensive Rating: 97.1 (1st)
Myles Powell is just too good of a scorer at this level, and Glen Yang has been one of the better all-around guards this conference. Bay Area’s starting backcourt has been a key cog in their success, and it might be safe to say that it was a wise decision to go with Powell for the rest of their campaign. The Dragons only have one remaining assignment against a desperate TNT squad on Wednesday, after which they take a two-week rest before the playoffs.
Remaining game/s: TNT
2. Barangay Ginebra (7-2)
Offensive Rating: 106.2 (5th) | Defensive Rating: 101.1 (4th)
Winners of five straight, Ginebra is building momentum just at the right time. Their talented roster is fully healthy right now, which bodes well for them heading into tough matchups with the streaking NorthPort and the offensively-elite Converge. Moreover, the Gin Kings’ defense has been excellent, holding opponents to a second-worst mark of 92.2 points. Still, let’s see how strong Ginebra’s defense is when they go up against Converge on November 30.
Remaining game/s: NLEX, NorthPort, Converge
3. Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots (8-2)
Offensive Rating: 105.6 (6th) | Defensive Rating: 97.9 (2nd)
Magnolia’s offense failed to get going in the close loss to Bay Area, as they coughed up the ball more times than they would have wanted. Save for that hiccup, the Hotshots’ offense isn’t as problematic as compared to other teams, and their defense is never an issue (currently second in defensive rating). Despite fielding a top-heavy roster, Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero has done a good job of staggering the minutes of his guard triumvirate (Jalalon, Barroca, Lee). Paul Lee is primed for stellar playoff performance, with him shooting lights out from deep this conference (41% clip on 6.1 3PA).
Remaining game/s: Meralco, Rain or Shine
4. Converge FiberXers (8-3)
Offensive Rating: 111.0 (2nd) | Defensive Rating: 106.4 (10th)
Giving up 127 points to a Phoenix offense that ranks third-worst in the league was bad optics, as Converge needed every bit of Quincy Miller’s 46 points to come away with a five-point win. So far, the FiberXers have given up an average of 108.5 points to teams with Top-6 offensive ratings, and they have another litmus test coming up against Ginebra’s proven and tested arsenal.
Converge’s offense has been really good though, and there’s reason to believe that they could sustain this excellence even when opponents try to tighten up their defense in the playoffs. Their defense does need fine-tuning, but if they could keep up this high level of balance between pace and scoring, then there’s a huge chance that Aldin Ayo and his FiberXers will pull off a deep playoff run.
Remaining game/s: Ginebra
5. NorthPort Batang Pier (6-5)
Offensive Rating: 102.3 (8th) | Defensive Rating: 103.8 (7th)
Will Navarro’s addition to the team provides a whole new dynamic for NorthPort, as their opponents now have another scorer/playmaker to defend other than Robert Bolick. Prior to Navarro’s arrival, Bolick has been the sole consistent shot creator and playmaker for the Batang Pier, especially with their import Prince Ibeh being more comfortable as a lob threat and rim-running big.
Having taken care of games they’re supposed to win (against NLEX, Terrafirma, and an import-less Converge), NorthPort will have to bring their A-game on when they face an extremely balanced Ginebra squad on November 27.
Next two games: Ginebra
6. Meralco Bolts (4-5)
Offensive Rating: 103.7 (7th) | Defensive Rating: 106.0 (9th)
After crawling through a dark tunnel that saw them start the conference with a 1-5 record, the Bolts have won their last three games to stay in the playoff hunt. Despite KJ McDaniels’ shooting woes, Meralco has been receiving significant contributions across the roster. During their current three-game winning streak, four locals have chipped in double-digit scoring in each contest. Chris Banchero is seeing new signs of life off the bench, and Bong Quinto has been consistent throughout the conference.
Upcoming games against Magnolia and SMB will test their depth, especially with the injured Chris Newsome still sitting out.
Remaining game/s: Magnolia, NLEX, San Miguel
7. Phoenix Super LPG (5-6)
Offensive Rating: 100.7 (11th) | Defensive Rating: 101.0 (3rd)
The defense is still holding up for Phoenix, but they can’t have a third-worst offense and expect to be at par with other elite teams. The Fuel Masters put a premium on ball movement as evidenced by their 23.9 assists average, which ranks second behind Ginebra. But their high count of turnovers (league-worst 18.2 TOs) is killing their vibe.
Phoenix does have a very winnable game coming up against Terrafirma, but their chances of booking a playoff ticket may still be out of their control.
Remaining game/s: Terrafirma
8. San Miguel Beermen (4-5)
Offensive Rating: 106.8 (4th) | Defensive Rating: 106.9 (11th)
The Beermen still have three more games to get to the magic number of seven wins, and they might have a couple of elite reinforcements to back them up. Terrence Romeo has been recently activated, and the team is optimistic that we’ll see June Mar Fajardo playing sooner rather than later. The upcoming game against Terrafirma should result in a win, but the road to the playoffs gets bumpier after that. SMB will be threading the needle, especially with TNT and Meralco also having their backs on the wall.
Remaining game/s: Terrafirma, TNT, Meralco
9. TNT Tropang Giga (4-6)
Offensive Rating: 107.1 (3rd) | Defensive Rating: 102.2 (5th)
Mikey Williams has been productive in his return, but TNT failed to escape two close games against Meralco and Ginebra. They are now treading dangerous waters, with an upcoming schedule that features difficult matchups against Bay Area and San Miguel. To make matters worse, the Tropang Giga will be fielding a new import in Matt Mobley after the injury to Cameron Oliver.
Remaining game/s: Bay Area, SMB
10. Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (4-6)
Offensive Rating: 101.0 (10th) | Defensive Rating: 103.6 (6th)
The Elasto Painters still haven’t found an answer to their sputtering offense. The one-point loss to Converge really hurt their playoff chances, as they now have to stay perfect in their upcoming games against Blackwater and Magnolia. Rain or Shine is also not getting much from new import Ryan Pearson, who hasn’t been very impactful on both ends of the floor.
Remaining game/s: Blackwater, Magnolia
11. Blackwater Bossing (3-8)
Offensive Rating: 96.7 (13th) | Defensive Rating: 105.2 (8th)
Can Blackwater maintain this core next conference? Despite another lost campaign, Blackwater will have some positive things to look forward to, especially if they could keep this core lineup of Baser Amer, Troy Rosario, Renato Ular, Gab Banal, and Rashawn McCarthy intact. Blackwater would also want more out of talented wing Rey Suerte, who’s yet to break out of his shell.
Remaining game/s: Rain or Shine
12. NLEX Road Warriors (3-7)
Offensive Rating: 102.3 (8th) | Defensive Rating: 110.9 (12th)
Heading into a matchup with the previously-winless Terrafirma, NLEX was in a great position to snap their losing streak and boost their playoff chances. But they gave up a 40-point opening quarter to Terrafirma, foreshadowing what would be another embarrassing defensive stand for NLEX. The road doesn’t get easy for this team, as they’ll be facing Ginebra and Meralco to cap their disappointing campaign.
Remaining game/s: Ginebra, Meralco
13. Terrafirma Dyip (1-9)
Offensive Rating: 97.3 (12th) | Defensive Rating: 113.5 (13th)
Ending a 25-game drought is always a relief, but Terrafirma should have their sights already locked in for the next conference. The immediate concern is star guard Juami Tiongson, whose current contract will end by this year.
Remaining game/s: San Miguel, Phoenix