PBA Playoffs Primer: Ginebra, SMB Go For Closeout Wins

Ginebra and San Miguel go for closeout wins on PBA Saturday.

pba playoff
Original photos via PBA Images

PBA Saturday Games (December 10, 2022)

Venue: PhilSports Arena

First Game: NorthPort Batang Pier versus Barangay Ginebra (4:30 PM)

Second Game: San Miguel Beermen versus Converge FiberXers (6:45 PM)

Can Ginebra sustain their efficient offense?

NorthPort versus Ginebra, Game 2 (Best-of-3 Quarterfinals)

Game 1 Result: Ginebra defeated NorthPort, 118-102

Top Performers: Justin Brownlee (BGK) – 39 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 blocks; Arvin Tolentino (NOR) – 29 points, 8 rebounds, 5-of-12 3PT 

Along with Justin Brownlee’s brilliant 39-point outing, Ginebra’s was again humming a good tune in Game 1 of their quarterfinals matchup with NorthPort. The Gin Kings compiled 33 assists as a team and made literally half of their shots (53% FG). They displayed a good balance between their inside and outside game, putting up 54 points inside the paint and finishing with an excellent 16-of-34 clip from the three-point line. 

For NorthPort, they did not have a lot of problems getting buckets, but their defense needs to be more active against this well-oiled Ginebra offense. The Gin Kings pounded them in the paint, and that’s something that the Batang Pier should take personally. Prince Ibeh did his part with seven stocks (five steals, two blocks), but it’s the team’s overall defensive scheme that needs to improve.

Heaps of problems for Converge

San Miguel versus Converge, Game 2 (Best-of-3 Quarterfinals)

Game 1 Result: San Miguel defeated Converge, 114-96

Top Performers: June Mar Fajardo (SMB) – 19 points, 16 rebounds, 3 steals; Quincy Miller (CON) – 41 points, 13 rebounds

Converge has tons of problems on both ends of the floor heading into Game 2 of their quarterfinals duel with SMB. The FiberXers’ three-point shooting in Game 1 (6-of-41 3PT) was abysmal, and they gave up boatloads of free throws to the Beermen. San Miguel shot 27-of-38 from the charity stripe, with June Mar Fajardo and Devon Scott combining for a 20-of-26 clip. 

San Miguel currently ranks third in offensive rating (110.8), with Converge trailing just a spot below (108.9). Limiting a loaded Beermen roster to below 100 points might be a herculean task, but can the FiberXers match them shot for shot in Game 2? 

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