PBA Weekly Preview: Interesting Games to Watch

It will be a hectic week for teams trying to move into the middle pack of the 2022-23 PBA Governors’ Cup standings.

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Each PBA playdate this week is filled with playoff implications, particularly for those teams who are aiming to stay or move into the middle pack of the standings. Every team has gone through half of its schedule, which makes every game more meaningful moving forward.

Here are four interesting PBA games that you need to watch this week.

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Rain or Shine versus Magnolia (February 22)

It’s no secret that offense has been a problem for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters not just in this conference alone, but for the whole season. So it was a breath of fresh air to see Andrei Caracut and Leonard Santillian — who have combined averages of 19.6 points this conference — put up 25 and 21 points, respectively, in their recent two-point win against the Terrafirma Dyip.

The Elasto Painters need more of these scoring outbursts across the roster, especially on their February 22 matchup with the Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots. Magnolia is on a three-game winning streak and currently holds the second-best defensive rating (106.4) in the league.

Meralco versus NLEX (February 23)

The Meralco Bolts have lost three of their last four games, a rough stretch that saw them fail to breach the 90-point mark in losses against Terrafirma and the San Miguel Beermen. It’s a good thing that their defense is still good, as they’re leading the league in defensive rating with 105.9.

The NLEX Road Warriors are going through a similar stretch, having lost two of their last three contests. NLEX star Kevin Alas did pour in a tremendous 31-point outing to lead his team to a much-needed win over the Converge FiberXers. Let’s see what Alas can do against a better defensive team like Meralco.

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Phoenix versus Converge (February 26)

Jason Perkins is one of the best local players this conference, and all-around forward Javee Mocon just returned from a long injury layoff. Despite holding a disappointing 2-5 slate, things might be looking up for the Phoenix Super LPG but they only have four games left to make up ground.

Phoenix will start their late playoff push with a tough game against the Converge FiberXers. Spearheaded by import Jamaal Franklin, the FiberXers — who rank in the Top 4 in offensive rating and defensive rating — are handful to deal with on both ends of the floor.

Meralco versus Magnolia (February 26)

Arguably the most interesting game in this week’s PBA, two top-notch defensive teams collide on February 26. Meralco and Magnolia are sporting identical records of 3-3, and they are ranked 1st and 2nd in defensive rating. The Hotshots will have more momentum going into this matchup, as they have convincingly won all three games with Antonio Hester as their import, outscoring opponents by a staggering 19.7 points.

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