Ginebra goes for their third straight win against Phoenix, while Blackwater and Terrafirma battle it out on PBA Friday.
PBA Friday Games (October 14, 2022)
Venue: Smart Araneta Coliseum
First Game: Blackwater Bossing versus Terrafirma Dyip (3:00 PM)
Second Game: Phoenix Super LPG versus Barangay Ginebra (5:45 PM)
terrafirma’s problems piling up
|Blackwater Bossing||Terrafirma Dyip|
|Offensive Rating||101.3 (11th)||100.9 (12th)|
|Defensive Rating||109.4 (10th)||113.1 (13th)|
|Pace||78.6 (9th)||80.1 (5th)|
|Standing||2-3 (9th)||0-4 (13th)|
Previous Games: Blackwater lost to the NorthPort Batang Pier, 87-83; Terrafirma lost to the Meralco Bolts, 105-92
Terrafirma hasn’t done much in their first four games in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. They’re among the worst teams on both offense and defense, and their win-loss slate says it all. Import Lester Prosper has been getting buckets (34.8 points), but he hasn’t been as committed on defense as you want him to be. I thought that this could be a great opportunity for Joshua Munzon to shine, given how defenses will lock their sights on Prosper. But Munzon is struggling on all fronts; the three-point shot is still not working (27.3% on 5.5 three-point attempts) and even his playmaking — something that was a silver lining last conference — has dropped from 3.4 assists to only 1.0 this conference. The only bright spot so far for Terrafirma is the play of combo guard Juami Tiongson, who is averaging 15.0 points built on a stellar 46% clip from beyond the arc (average of 6.5 three-point attempts).
But their abysmal defense is still a big problem for Terrafirma, as they don’t just have the personnel to make an impact on that end of the floor. Even Blackwater, who is only ranked 11th in offensive rating this conference, poses a huge challenge for the Terrafirma defense.
Ginebra guns for three straight
|Phoenix Super LPG||Barangay Ginebra|
|Offensive Rating||97.0 (13th)||105.2 (6th)|
|Defensive Rating||99.9 (3rd)||103.7 (6th)|
|Pace||80.7 (3rd)||74.2 (13th)|
|Standing||1-3 (12th)||2-1 (3rd)|
Previous Games: Phoenix won against the NLEX Road Warriors, 111-97; Ginebra won against the Bay Area Dragons, 111-93
Interestingly, the 1-3 Phoenix squad is also ranked in the top half of the league in defensive rating. They compile a league-best 9.3 steals as a team, forcing their opponents to turn the ball over at a high rate. This will be Phoenix’s recipe for success if they want to beat Ginebra today, but of course, that’s easier said than done. Ginebra is one of the best teams in terms of taking care of the ball, as their average of 13.3 turnovers is the fourth-lowest this conference.
Ironically, Phoenix’s tendency to commit a lot of turnovers themselves is what’s killing their offense. They currently lead the league in turnovers (19.3), which was expected as they’re now playing without Matthew Wright, their primary ballhandler and shot-creator for so many years. Phoenix doesn’t have a natural playmaker on the roster, and their import Kaleb Wesson is also norming a shade under five turnovers per game.
Crisp passing and good executions on their offensive sets will be crucial for Phoenix, but this will be a herculean task against Ginebra. The Gin Kings are scary when they’re on, showing their excellent offensive-defensive balance in their 111-93 rout of the previously-undefeated Bay Area Dragons. With Justin Brownlee leading the way, Ginebra is heavily favored in this matchup against Phoenix.