Kung ayaw niyo talaga, e di gumawa kayo ng blog.
PG JVee Casio/RJ Jazul vs LA Tenorio
|Thoss vs Tenorio|
SG Cyrus Baguio/ Dondon Hontiveros vs Josh Urbiztondo/ Jayjay Helterbrand
This PBA Finals is Baguio's to take. Urbiztondo is a great streak shooter, but he can't and won't wiggle free from the fast-handed Baguio. Helterbrand will have his sneaky pull-ups here and there, but Hontiveros will burn him on the other end just the same. We're tempted to conclude that both will just cancel each other out, but the Aces' guards have the advantage when it comes to making and forcing stops. Of course, this match-up tilts in favor of Ginebra if Mark Caguioa is back to 100% and plays like he was doing in the Philippine Cup and early Commissioner's Cup.
SF Calvin Abueva/ Tony de la Cruz vs Chris Ellis/ Mac Baracael
Pusangina away to. Baracael will not back down from Abueva. On the contrary, the man relishes the assignment. We saw it earlier this conference when the two were matched-up. Baracael was drilling shots right on Abueva's grill and letting him know about it (for our peers, think UAAP-era Wesley Gonzales vs Mac Mac Cardona). But The Beast is The Beast. And if he could score on Marc Pingris, then he can score against ANYONE. We're quite anxious to see if Rudy Hatfield will see some time versus the fiery rookie, but Abueva's speed could be the difference maker when the two hard working mofos go head-to-head. Chris Ellis is good, but he's not as tenacious for the basketball as Abueva. Only way to stop Abueva really is for Baracael and Ellis to attack his defense and hope he gets called for tacky fouls.
PF Sonny Thoss/ Gabby Espinas vs Kerby Raymundo
Raymundo has been enjoying a series of vintage performances this whole conference. Now we'll put that to the test with Thoss sure to bang the pride of Bataan around in the paint. It's going to get ugly. It's going to get brutal. Denzel Bowles couldn't keep Thoss out of the paint from putting in soft left handed hook shots. What more a thinner Raymundo who stands an inch shorter? Espinas and Raymundo will battle to a draw, hell, we give the advantage to Raymundo on that one. But Thoss will be the difference maker in this series. How Ginebra adjusts to his size and strength in the paint will be big. Do they put in Billy Mamaril? He'll slow Thoss down, but Ginebra will sacrifice their weak side post offense in the process.
C Rob Dozier, Jr. vs Vernon Macklin
We were ready to throw in the towel and declare that this series will be decided just by how effective and monstrous Macklin will be in the paint. But that was before Talk 'n' Text managed to slow the 7"0 demon down with guys like 6"3 Ali Peek and Jonn Ferriols. That was an eye opener. Macklin had trouble backing down solid, planted low post bangers (the difference between a Dwight Howard and Zach Randolph, true basketball fans know this). Luckily, the Aces have a guy in Thoss who could easily switch to contain Macklin. Then there's 6"6 Espinas, followed by the considerably bigger (comes with age) Nic Belasco. And, if need be, there's always 6"9 Samigue Eman who has more muscles than playing time to throw at Macklin before the defensive-minded Dozier is sent to stop Ginebra's slamma jamma of an import.
The Texters could've won the 5th and deciding game in their series versus Ginebra had Ranidel de Ocampo suited up. The offense wouldn't have been as predictable, and the pressure wouldn't have been too big on their guards. Well, that's the problem with TNT. They only have one legit post-up threat that Ginebra could handle.
The Aces? They have Thoss. And though Abueva is running (and flopping) around all over the court and knocking down killer threes, he does most of his damage inside the paint. So does Baguio. And Espinas. The Aces have a bunch of guys who do one of two things very well: attack the rim, shoot from deep. For Ginebra to stand a chance, they'll need Macklin and Raymundo to put on their best efforts to keep the Aces' bigs busy. Tenorio has to work overtime and cancel out Casio AND Jazul. In truth, all the Aces have to do is stick to their system and run their sets. They have the advantage in manpower (with Caguioa out or if he ever suits up, will still not be at 100%) and energy. Ginebra will get theirs from the crowd. We'd love to give the advantage to Ginebra if they manage to get off to a hot start, but the Aces have shown great, nay, tremendous strength when it comes to their "second wind/push" in the late quarters.
You know what we really love about this series?
No one's going to be bitching about Abueva flopping (how dare you Ginebra fans having been spoiled by all the calls given to former player and the GOD OF FLOP Ronald Tubid? Lol). No one's going to whine about the physicality (Robert Jaworski, Sr. INVENTED physicality). It's just going to be a good, old fashioned, Pinoy basketball Best of Five Finals for the PBA Commissioner's Cup championship.
Alaska in 4/5 (though we don't mind if Ginebra wins it altogether).