The San Miguel Beermen could get two important reinforcements back as they try to boost their playoff chances in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
With four more playoff seats yet to be booked, this week’s PBA games will certainly be filled with desperation and urgency. A handful of perennial contenders are still on the brink of elimination, while the top teams jockey for a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.
Let’s look at the exciting games to watch this week, as well as the players you need to keep track of.
Interesting Games To Watch
Bay Area versus TNT (November 23)
The playoff window is slowly closing for the TNT Tropang Giga, as they need to win their remaining couple of games to avoid getting eliminated. Their difficult mission will start with a duel against the top-seeded Bay Area Dragons.
TNT’s defense against the dynamic Myles Powell and the top-ranked Bay Area offense will be crucial, and they also have to get their new import acquainted. With Cameron Oliver sustaining a hamstring injury, TNT is bringing in Matt Mobley, who is listed between 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-4. Mobley might be a more dynamic scorer than Oliver, particularly from the perimeter. But the Tropang Giga will miss the rim protection that Oliver provided (1.8 BPG), especially with them trading away Troy Rosario last offseason.
San Miguel versus TNT (November 26)
The San Miguel Beermen might just get Terrence Romeo and June Mar Fajardo in this week’s games. This doesn’t come as a surprise, considering that the Beermen have found themselves in danger of missing the playoffs this conference. If Romeo or Fajardo does come back, they have the opportunity to warm up via a November 23 match against Terrafirma, before getting into a dogfight against a similarly-desperate TNT squad.
NorthPort versus Ginebra (November 27)
The NorthPort Batang Pier is currently sporting a 6-5 record, and they can solidify their playoff seat by taking care of their remaining assignment. It won’t be easy though, as they’ll be facing Barangay Ginebra, who is coming off five straight wins. Let’s see what the Robert Bolick-Will Navarro duo can do — particularly on the playmaking side of things — against a strong Ginebra defense.
Rising Stock: Will Navarro
Will Navarro is a game-changer, and he is quickly exhibiting his full repertoire this conference. Through his first five PBA games, Navarro is averaging 17.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 3.8 assists, while hitting a decent 35% of his 5.2 three-point attempts. Coming off a tremendous 29-17-9 tally against Converge, Navarro might just be getting started. Let’s see how he fares in the playoffs, if NorthPort does get there.
Due for a Bounce-Back: Terrence Romeo
Romeo could make his conference debut this week, giving SMB another shot-creating playmaker to work with. He might see limited minutes in his return, but look for the Beermen to give him the keys to the second unit. Head coach Leo Austria might stagger Romeo and CJ Perez’s minutes — this way, they are sure to have a premier shot creator the whole game, while also giving Romeo the opportunity to run loose with the second unit.