DM’s PBA Power Rankings: TNT Streaking To the Top

Original photos via PBA Images

The first half of the 2022-23 PBA Governors’ Cup is finally through, and we’re getting a glimpse of how teams are positioning for the playoffs, particularly at the top half of the standings. No team is officially eliminated yet, but that could change in the next few days.

With the playoffs just around the corner, let’s see how your favorite teams stack up in the latest Dribble Media’s PBA Power Rankings. 

1. TNT Tropang Giga (8-1)

Offensive Rating: 119.8 (1st) | Defensive Rating: 110.6 (5th) 

TNT’s current six-game winning streak saw them beat perennial teams like San Miguel, Meralco, Converge, and Magnolia. They have maintained a league-best 39.9% three-point shooting clip through nine games, with RR Pogoy (5.6 3PA) and Calvin Oftana (4.9 3PA) hitting in the 50% range.

Two of their top local scorers (Pogoy and Mikey Williams) are currently nursing ankle injuries, but they have ample time to recover, as TNT will take a break from PBA before their March 15 game against NorthPort. 

Next two games: NorthPort, Ginebra

2. San Miguel Beermen (7-2)

Offensive Rating: 117.9 (2nd) | Defensive Rating: 106.9 (3rd)

The Beermen’s chemistry on the court has been better this conference. They are leading the league in assists averages (28.6) and second in assist percentage (66.4%), while only accumulating the third-least turnover count of 13.3. That is efficient basketball for a team that packs so much talent on their roster.

Next two games: NLEX, Rain or Shine

3. Converge FiberXers (5-2)

Offensive Rating: 116.7 (4th) | Defensive Rating: 108.8 (4th)

From ranking 9th in defensive rating during the Commissioner’s Cup, the FiberXers are putting in the work to be more effective on that end of the floor. Converge has climbed to the top half of the league with a fourth-best 108.8 defensive rating, forcing opponents to 16.6 turnovers, which is the third-highest mark this conference. Converge’s improvement on the defensive end is an additional boost for them come playoff time.

Next two games: Blackwater, Phoenix

4. Barangay Ginebra (4-2)

Offensive Rating: 117.4 (3rd) | Defensive Rating: 119.0 (9th)

Ginebra might be feeling the absence of their injured rim-protector Japeth Aguilar on defense, but their offense is still must-see TV. The Gin Kings lead the league in assists percentage (70.9%), which is another testament to the pristine ball movement that has become a standard for them. Jamie Malonzo is still improving as a shooter, and Jeremiah Gray is turning out to be a bigger weapon this conference.

Next two games: Meralco, Phoenix

5. Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots (3-3)

Offensive Rating: 114.9 (6th) | Defensive Rating: 106.4 (2nd)

As we said before, Magnolia’s nightmare 0-3 start to the conference is over. Their defense has been consistently good, particularly when they held an elite offensive team like Ginebra to only 88 points. Moreover, the Hotshots’ offense has been better in their current three-game streak, outscoring opponents by 19.7 points and averaging 29.3 assists as a team. 

Next two games: Rain or Shine, Meralco

6. NLEX Road Warriors (5-2)

Offensive Rating: 115.6 (5th) | Defensive Rating: 112.4 (6th)

After going 4-0 with previous import Jonathon Simmons, the Road Warriors have only won one of their three games with Wayne Selden Jr. as their reinforcement. To be fair though, the two losses came at the expense of two contenders in Ginebra and Magnolia, before finally breaking through with a morale-boosting victory over Converge. 

For NLEX fans who want their own morale booster, here’s a piece of good news: Kevin Alas (19.9 points on 67.6% True Shooting) is still a very good basketball player. 

Next two games: Meralco, Rain or Shine

7. Meralco Bolts (3-3)

Offensive Rating: 110.6 (10th) | Defensive Rating: 105.9 (1st)

The Bolts struggled on both ends of the floor last conference, but they’re back to being a top defensive team in the Governors’ Cup. Their offense does need fine-tuning, but with Chris Newsome back, Meralco has enough arsenal to figure this one out. They have to act fast though, as their next four-game stretch will feature opponents (NLEX, Magnolia, Ginebra, Converge) who are tied or slotted higher than them in the standings.

Next two games: NLEX, Magnolia

8. Phoenix Super LPG (2-5)

Offensive Rating: 111.3 (7th) | Defensive Rating: 112.6 (7th)

There’s still time for the Fuel Masters to get back to the playoff hunt, and the return of all-around star forward Javee Mocon and the consistently good performances from Jason Perkins give them hope. All hands on deck now, as Phoenix might need to win all their remaining four games to have a shot at a playoff spot. 

Next two games: Converge, Rain or Shine

9. Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (2-4)

Offensive Rating: 108.7 (11th) | Defensive Rating: 115.3 (8th)

It has been another underwhelming campaign for the Elasto Painters. They’re still on the lookout for a consistent punch on offense, as they only have two locals (Rey Nambatac, Leonard Santillan) averaging double digits in the scoring column. Rain or Shine’s next game against an elite defensive team in Magnolia will pose another challenge to their sputtering offense.

Next two games: Magnolia, NLEX

10. Terrafirma Dyip (2-5)

Offensive Rating: 110.7 (Tied-8th) | Defensive Rating: 119.9 (10th)

Juami Tiongson is still producing at a very high rate, but Terrafirma’s gut-wrenching loss to an import-less Rain or Shine squad might have dampened their playoff hopes. An upcoming schedule against top-half teams (NLEX, Magnolia, Ginebra) isn’t good source of optimism, either.  

Next two games: NorthPort, NLEX

11. Blackwater Bossing (1-7)

Offensive Rating: 106.3 (12th) | Defensive Rating: 121.4 (11th)

After an inspired Commissioner’s Cup run that saw him average 16.1 points on 59.1% True Shooting, Baser Amer’s scoring production has declined to just 8.0 points this conference. It’s not just Amer who is struggling though; Blackwater has hit another rough patch, owning the worst offensive rating in the league. 

Next two games: Converge, NorthPort

12. NorthPort Batang Pier (0-6)

Offensive Rating: 110.7 (Tied-8th) | Defensive Rating: 125.2 (12th)

It has been a harrowing campaign for the Batang Pier, especially on the defensive end where they are dead last in defensive rating. The good news is they have winnable games against Terrafirma and Blackwater this week. The bad news is they still have to play two streaking teams in Magnolia and TNT to cap their elimination round schedule.

Next two games: Terrafirma, Blackwater

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