PBA Primer: SMB Starts Tough Stretch of Games Against Ginebra

The San Miguel Beermen begin their challenging stretch of games with a PBA Sunday matchup against Barangay Ginebra.

pba sunday
Photo from PBA Images

PBA Sunday Games (November 6, 2022)

Venue: Smart Araneta Coliseum

First Game: Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots versus Blackwater Bossing (4:30 PM)

Second Game: San Miguel Beermen versus Barangay Ginebra (6:45 PM)

Magnolia Aims To bounce back

Magnolia HotshotsBlackwater Bossing
Offensive Rating110.7 (2nd)98.6 (12th)
Defensive Rating103.5 (4th)104.9 (7th)
Pace77.8 (9th)78.2 (8th)
Standing5-1 (1st)3-5 (T-10th)
*Stats per RealGM (as of 11/05/2022)

Previous Games: Magnolia lost to Ginebra, 103-97; Blackwater lost to Converge FiberXers, 77-71

Everything was going well for Magnolia until that forgettable fourth quarter against Ginebra. The Hotshots had a 10-point lead entering the final quarter, but their offense sputtered and their defense couldn’t stop the Gin Kings’ barrage. Magnolia lost that game, but they almost ticked all the boxes against Ginebra. They were very active in the passing lanes, forcing Ginebra to a whopping 24 turnovers. On offense, it’s great to see Jerrick Ahanmisi (3-of-3 3PT) showing his ability to stretch the floor, and Paul Lee is still putting up a good show from deep (6-of-9 3PT).

Nick Rakocevic struggled shooting in the Ginebra loss (28% FG), but his defense (5 steals) and hustle (9 offensive rebounds) are still there. The top-seeded Hotshots are still a team to beat this conference, and an upcoming game against Blackwater is a great opportunity for them to get back to their winning ways.

Can SMB’s Defense Hold off Ginebra?

San Miguel BeermenBarangay Ginebra
Offensive Rating110.2 (4th)108.3 (6th)
Defensive Rating110.0 (T-10th)104.1 (5th)
Pace80.2 (3rd)75.4 (11th)
Standing3-3 (T-7th)4-2 (4th)
*Stats per RealGM (as of 11/05/2022)

Previous Games: San Miguel won against NorthPort Batang Pier, 104-86; Ginebra won against Terrafirma Dyip, 111-90

Devon Scott’s ability to dish out good passes and involve his teammates has been great for the Beermen, who have now won their last two games after starting the conference on a 1-3 slate. Scott should be able to mesh beautifully when June Mar Fajardo comes back (probably after a couple of weeks), but SMB has a lot to prove until then. They haven’t beaten a team ranked in the top half of the standings, and four of their next five games are against perennial contenders (Ginebra, Magnolia, Phoenix, TNT). The Beermen’s offense is still at a high even with Fajardo out, but their low-ranked defense will be tested by a Ginebra offense that’s improving by the day.

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