This week in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup will feature a battle between the two hottest teams in the league, plus a squad raring to get back to their winning ways.
This upcoming week is a treat for Filipino basketball fans, with Gilas Pilipinas showcasing their wares in the 5th window of the FIBA World Cup 2023 Qualifiers. The PBA will still hold games, although there are some teams who have players on the Gilas pool (TNT, San Miguel, Ginebra) that are not included in this week’s play dates.
Still, there’s much to look forward in this week’s PBA, starting with these intriguing team matchups.
Interesting Games To Watch
Phoenix versus Converge (November 9)
The Phoenix Super LPG and the Converge FiberXers are literally the hottest teams in the league right now. Both of them are coming off five straight wins, with Phoenix just trailing Converge by one game in the standings. If the Fuel Masters manage to overcome the FiberXers, they’ll have identical records, which makes this matchup even more interesting to watch.
This will be a duel between the second-best offense (Converge’s 110.8 offensive rating) and the top-ranked defense (Phoenix’s 97.0 defensive rating). We’ll discuss more of this matchup in our PBA Wednesday Primer, but go ahead and mark the game on your basketball calendar.
Rain or Shine versus Bay Area (November 11)
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters have been alternating wins and losses through eight games, but one thing’s for sure: their offense is in dire need of a spark. Import Steve Taylor Jr’s poor shooting (17% 3P, 56% FT) may have led to his departure, so it’s possible that Rain or Shine is thinking offense in bringing in the 6-foot-6 Ryan Pearsons. Unfortunately, Pearsons won’t have much time to get acquainted with his team, as he and the Elasto Painters are about to face the Bay Area Dragons on Friday.
Phoenix versus Magnolia (November 12)
Talk about an uphill climb for Phoenix. A couple of days after facing Converge, Phoenix will match up against the top-seeded Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots. Magnolia is one of only three teams (the other two being Bay Area and TNT) that rank among the Top 5 in both offensive and defensive rating, so it will take discipline and perfect execution to beat them on both ends of the floor.
Rising Stock: Jerrick Ahanmisi
After spending much of the past three conferences buried on Magnolia’s bench, shooting guard Jerrick Ahanmisi is finally getting some burn. In the last three games, Ahanmisi has been a spark off the bench, averaging 11.6 points on 56.5% shooting, including 50% from beyond the arc. The 25-year-old wing is on the best stretch of his young career, and we’ll see how he fares against a top-ranked Phoenix defense on Saturday.
Due for a Bounce-Back: Rey Nambatac
Rey Nambatac has been on and off this conference, and his inconsistency is one of the many problems in Rain or Shine’s sputtering offense. Consistency is a mark of a franchise player, and Nambatac will have to show that he can be relied upon every game. The lefty gunner shot 5-of-23 (21.7%) from the field in the last two games, averaging only eight points in that span. The Elasto Painters have two tough games this week (Bay Area, Converge), so they badly need Nambatac to snap out of his slump.