PBA Primer: Ginebra Defense Tests the Bolick-Navarro Duo

How will NorthPort’s duo of Robert Bolick and Will Navarro fare against a formidable Ginebra defense?

Photo from PBA Images

PBA Sunday Games (November 27, 2022)

Venue: PhilSports Arena

First Game: Magnolia Hotshots versus Meralco Bolts (4:30 PM)

Second Game: NorthPort Batang Pier versus Barangay Ginebra (6:45 PM)

Meralco Goes for Fourth Straight Win

Magnolia HotshotsMeralco Bolts
Offensive Rating105.6 (6th)103.7 (7th)
Defensive Rating97.9 (2nd)106.0 (9th)
Pace77.0 (9th)74.9 (13th)
Standing8-2 (2nd)4-5 (9th)
*Stats per RealGM (as of 11/26/2022)

Previous Games: Magnolia lost to Bay Area Dragons, 89-95; Meralco won against TNT Tropang Giga, 97-91

Even without lead guard Chris Newsome, the Bolts find themselves still in contention for a playoff spot. Much of their success in the past three games have come through balanced offensive contributions across the roster, although import KJ McDaniels might be due for a good shooting display. McDaniels sure has the green light (average of 30 FG attempts), but his efficiency is very low (32/26/63 shooting splits for 41% True Shooting).

Meralco has won their last three games by an average margin of only 4.3 points. In their upcoming game, the Bolts will need another good string of performances from their locals, plus a more offensively-efficient McDaniels to pull off a win over the second-ranked defense of the Hotshots. Despite a stellar record, Magnolia will not take this game lightly, as they still want to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

NorthPort tests mettle against ginebra

NorthPort Batang PierBarangay Ginebra
Offensive Rating103.8 (8th)106.2 (5th)
Defensive Rating103.8 (6th)101.1 (4th)
Pace76.2 (11th)76.0 (12th)
Standing6-5 (5th)7-3 (4th)
*Stats per RealGM (as of 11/26/2022)

Previous Games: NorthPort won against Converge FiberXers, 112-97; Ginebra lost to NLEX Road Warriors, 117-120

NorthPort has won their last three games (against NLEX, Terrafirma, and an import-less Converge), but they will test their true mettle against Ginebra. The Batang Pier will surely rely on their all-around duo of Robert Bolick and Will Navarro, but others should step up. Can they get another solid playmaking display from Roi Sumang? After a disappearing act in the middle part of the conference, Sumang has come to life as of late. He has become a steady hand off the bench, averaging five assists in NorthPort’s three-game winning streak.

Another Batang Pier to keep track of is Arvin Tolentino, who is going up against his former team for the first time. Tolentino is one of the decent shooters in the league (35% clip on 6.8 three-point attempts), and he has the opportunity to shoot the lights out in front of the Ginebra crowd.

However, Ginebra needs this win too. They are still in contention for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals so expect an all-in Gin Kings squad against the Batang Pier. Ginebra needs to take better care of the ball though, as turnovers (21) again derailed them in their recent heartbreaking loss to NLEX.

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