PBA Sunday: Fajardo-less San Miguel Face Uphill Battle Against Bay Area

Bay Area will test the June Mar Fajardo-less San Miguel team, while Magnolia tries to keep their slate clean in a PBA Sunday matchup with NorthPort.

pba sunday
Photo from PBA Images

PBA Sunday Games (October 16, 2022)

Venue: Smart Araneta Coliseum

First Game: Bay Area Dragons versus San Miguel Beermen (4:30 PM)

Second Game: Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots versus NorthPort Batang Pier (6:45 PM)

Nicholson, dragons test undermanned beermen

Bay Area DragonsSan Miguel Beermen
Offensive Rating110.9 (3rd)112.3 (1st)
Defensive Rating101.7 (5th)109.8 (11th)
Pace80.8 (3rd)81.2 (2nd)
Standing4-1 (2nd)1-1 (T-10th)
*Stats per RealGM (as of 10/15/2022)

Previous Games: Bay Area lost to Barangay Ginebra, 111-93; San Miguel won against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 113-105

Despite losing to Ginebra in their last game, Bay Area is still one of the stronger teams in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. They’ll eventually figure out how to work best with their new import Andrew Nicholson, who actually looked great in that Ginebra game. The 6-foot-10 former NBA cager put up 28 points, displaying an inside-outside offensive repertoire that will make it hard for opposing teams to defend him (especially that hook shot of his). However, the Dragons’ offense looked a bit predictable with Nicholson, which was expected since they had a backcourt star (Myles Powell) as the focal point of their offense in their first four games.

It’s interesting to see how Bay Area will mix up their offense around Nicholson, especially against a San Miguel team who’ll be without the services of June Mar Fajardo. Beermen import Diamond Stone might match up with Nicholson, although Stone is not exactly honed in on defense as much as he is on offense. Mo Tautuaa, who logged only five minutes in their last game, could draw the tough assignment of guarding the Bay Area import.

can magnolia keep their undefeated run?

Magnolia HotshotsNorthPort Batang Pier
Offensive Rating108.0 (5th)101.7 (11th)
Defensive Rating100.7 (4th)104.2 (7th)
Pace79.8 (4th)76.6 (11th)
Standing4-0 (1st)3-2 (3rd)
*Stats per RealGM (as of 10/15/2022)

Previous Games: Magnolia won against the NLEX Road Warriors, 111-97; NorthPort won against the Blackwater Bossing, 87-83

The Magnolia defense flexed its might in the previous game, forcing NLEX import Earl Clark to five turnovers and a conference-low 15 points. The Hotshots are the best in the league in forcing opponent turnovers (17.5 turnovers), with Jio Jalalon and Calvin Abueva leading that charge, at least in playing the passing lanes and picking the ball out of napping ballhandlers.

Magnolia’s ability to force turnovers will come in handy against a NorthPort team that doesn’t really take care of the ball well (third-worst 15.8 turnovers per game). NorthPort star Robert Bolick is surely aiming for a bounce-back game after averaging only 13.5 points in the past couple of games. Despite being the primary ballhandler in this team, Bolick actually doesn’t commit a lot of turnovers (only 1.6 turnovers this conference). With that said, we might see the Magnolia defense doing their best to force Bolick to pick up the ball and force his teammates to make plays.

With the Magnolia defense hounding Bolick, it might be time for Roi Sumang to turn in a good performance. Sumang has only had one good game this conference, so look for him to get more aggressive against the Hotshots today.

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