PBA Sunday: Can Ginebra Crack Bay Area’s Code?

Barangay Ginebra takes a crack at the undefeated Bay Area Dragons, while the San Miguel Beermen figure in a tough battle with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday double-header.

Photo from PBA Images

PBA Games Today (October 9, 2022)

Venue: PhilSports Arena

First Game: San Miguel Beermen versus Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (4:30 PM)

Second Game: Barangay Ginebra versus Bay Area Dragons (6:45 PM)

Tough Bounce-Back Bid for San Miguel

San Miguel BeermenRain or Shine Elasto Painters
Offensive Rating111.1 (3rd)104.5 (5th)
Defensive Rating114.2 (13th)94.4 (1st)
Pace79.5 (8th)76.8 (11th)
Standing0-1 (11th)2-1 (4th)
*Stats per RealGM (as of 10/08/2022)

Previous Games: San Miguel lost to the Blackwater Bossing, 109-106; Rain or Shine won against the Terrafirma Dyip, 106-94

Coming off a fourth-quarter meltdown in their conference opener loss to Blackwater, SMB is aiming to get back to their winning ways on PBA Sunday. It won’t come easy though, as they will be up against a Rain or Shine defense that held a loaded Ginebra team to only 71 points in their previous matchup. San Miguel import Diamond Stone went 0-for-6 from beyond the arc in the first game, but he has that three-point shot in his bag and we’ll just chalk that up as a proverbial off-night for him.

Stone’s reputation as an outside shooter could do wonders in terms of his fit with an inside presence like June Mar Fajardo. Fajardo led the Beermen’s charge against Blackwater, amassing 23 points and 16 rebounds. Another encouraging sight for the Beermen is Marcio Lassiter’s 18-point outing, built on a 5-of-9 clip from three-point territory. Lassiter has been a high-percentage shooter for most of his career, but the team would want him to become more assertive. The SMB offense might benefit more if Lassiter could increase his three-point volume to eight or nine attempts per game.

As for the Elasto Painters, they are getting solid contributions from their young guys but they’re still waiting for Rey Nambatac to really make his mark this conference. Nambatac is only averaging 7.7 points, as he’s struggling from the field (21% FG) and from three-point territory (27% 3P). Let’s see what he can do against San Miguel, particularly on how he’ll fare against a tremendous defender like Chris Ross.

Nicholson banners Bay Area Ahead of Ginebra Battle

Barangay GinebraBay Area Dragons
Offensive Rating98.1 (11th)115.4 (2nd)
Defensive Rating106.2 (8th)96.0 (2nd)
Pace72.2 (13th)81.6 (3rd)
Standing1-1 (5th)4-0 (1st)
*Stats per RealGM (as of 10/08/2022)

Previous Games: Ginebra won against the Meralco Bolts, 99-91; Bay Area won against the Converge FiberXers, 106-100

As part of their agreement with the PBA, Bay Area will be parading a new import after their first four games, replacing backcourt star Myles Powell with the 6-foot-10 Andrew Nicholson. Nicholson comes with legit NBA credentials, and he has polished his outside shooting (average of 44.8% on 5.7 3P attempts) during his four-year CBA career.

The question now is how will Bay Area fill Powell’s big shoes in the backcourt, and the answer might come in the form of Glen Yang. Lost in Powell’s dominance is the all-around contributions of Yang, who is norming 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. He’s a solid two-way player, with his ability to shoot and defend in the backcourt.

Justin Brownlee will again be the focal point of Ginebra’s offense, but look for another solid outing from Stanley Pringle as well. Pringle is looking good in the first two games, particularly in getting his burst back and just being quicker with his movements. Pringle did not even eclipse double digits in scoring average in the past two conferences, so he’s due for a bounce-back campaign in this year’s Commissioner’s Cup.

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