MANILA, Philippines – With Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s had-fought win against Barako Bull on Sunday, the crowd darlings move one win away from securing the top spot in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup. They once again dominate Rappler’s PBA Power Rankings this week.
1. (Last week: 1) Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel (10-2) (—)
Game of the week (GOTW): Ginebra eked out a hard-earned 90-83 win against Barako Bull last Sunday. Five players scored in double-digits, led by Greg Slaughter who finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Ginebra tightened their hold of the no. 1 spot in the PBA standings coming into the playoff round.
Next key game (NKG): Ginebra will lock horns with nemesis Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters on Sunday, January 19. Japeth Aguilar drained the game-winning trey in their first meeting, but expect Talk ‘N Text to bounce back strong. Ginebra needs to win to seal their place in the team standings.
2. (Last week: 3) Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (9-3) (▲)
GOTW: The Elasto Painters moved one step closer to coveting the twice-to-beat advantage after a 90-88 thriller against Talk ‘N Text on Saturday. Both teams battled neck-and-neck towards the end, but Rain or Shine got it done on the defensive end to secure their fifth straight win.
NKG: ROS will battle a determined Meralco Bolts crew on Wednesday, January 15. The Bolts are on a two-game winning streak as well and they want to spoil the party, so Rain or Shine better be ready to tighten their grip of the no. 2 spot.
3. (Last week: 2) Petron Blaze Boosters (9-3) (▼)
GOTW: Petron Blaze had a golden chance to tie Ginebra at the top spot, but faltered against a determined Barako Bullsquad last Wednesday. Barako bullied the June Mar Fajardo-less Boosters, getting a 53-44 edge on rebounding for a 92-88 upset win.
NKG: The Boosters can redeem themselves against San Mig Coffee on Wednesday, January 15 and stay alive in the chase for the twice-to-beat edge—an incentive only the top two PBA teams can get.
4. (Last week: 4) Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters (7-5) (—)
GOTW: This is not how you want to end your elimination drive if you’re the defending three-time Philippine Cup champions. TNT is on a two-game losing skid, highlighted by a 100-102 upset loss over Air21 in a game where former Talk ‘N Text player Asi Taulava hulked his way for 23 points and 18 boards.
NKG: Although the twice-to-beat edge is not an option anymore for Coach Norman Black’s troops, TNT has a chance to carry over some huge momentum heading into the playoffs if they can get a good result against Ginebra on Sunday, January 19.
5. (Last week: 6) Meralco Bolts (5-7) (▲)
GOTW: Meralco overcame a poor start and went on to defeat Alaska on Friday, 74-65, to stay in the middle of the PBA standings. Reigning scoring champ Gary David waxed hot for 24 points (3 of 6 from downtown), 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.
NKG: Meralco will have daunting tasks against Rain or Shine (Wedneday, January 15) and Petron (Saturday, January 18) but they’ve scored a big upset against Ginebra in the past so they might just continue rolling.
6. (Last week: 7) San Mig Super Coffee Mixers (5-7) (▲)
GOTW: The Super Coffee Mixers followed their colossal win against Ginebra with a 67-60 shackling of Air21 on Saturday.Super sub PJ Simon earned a start and drained 20 markers in 34 minutes, while the Mixers controlled the boards (61-51).
NKG: San Mig faces Petron on Wednesday, January 15 for an opportunity to avoid a twice-to-beat disadvantage.
7. (Last week: 9) Globalport Batang Pier (5-8) (▲)
GOTW: The Batang Pier’s five-game losing slide finally ended after a gritty, 91-88 overtime win against Alaska on Sunday.With starting forward Jay Washington out of the picture, big man Kelly Nabong stepped up with 13 points and 10 rebounds, including a game-tying basket in regulation to help Globalport snatch a win.
NKG: Globalport faces a tough assignment in Brgy. Ginebra on Saturday, January 18. They don’t want to fall into the 7th or 8th spot so they have to bring it against the league’s big boys.
8. (Last week: 5) Barako Bull Energy (5-8) (▼)
GOTW: The Energy’s 92-88 win over Petron is their biggest achievement this week. JC Intal has been spectacular in this week too, scoring 16 points and grabbing 7 rebounds in two games played.
NKG: Barako Bull can seal the deal and move past the elimination round if they can oust Alaska on Sunday, January 19.
9. (Last week: 8) Alaska Aces (4-9) (▼)
GOTW: The Aces shot a horrible 4-of-22 from three-point land against Meralco where they never got to score 20 a quarter. Alaska’s outside gunners should work if they want to stay in contention.
NKG: Alaska will wind up their campaign against Barako Bull on Sunday, January 19. The Aces are on the brink of elimination; this game means win or go home for them, so everyone should work. – Rappler.com
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