The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel are two wins away from successfully defending its PBA Governors' Cup title. On the other hand, the Meralco Bolts look to be satisfied with just another Finals appearance.
As it turned out, individual awards weren't indicative of Game 2's outcome (86-76, in favor of Ginebra)—Best Player of the Conference Greg Slaughter only had three points, while Best Import Allen Durham's team lost.
Durham is actually doing everything he can (26 ppg 18 rpg 7.5 apg), with significant contributions from Baser Amer (12 ppg 3.5 rpg) and Ranidel de Ocampo (9 ppg 7.5 rpg). But that amount of production from Meralco won't cut it when facing a championship squad that is hitting its stride.
If the Bolts want to make this a series and avoid getting swept under the PBA rug, the following ballers should wake up.
First two games: 6 ppg 2 apg
One could argue that Lanete isn't getting enough burn (14:42 mpg), but he can't blame coach Norman Black for his uninspiring performance last round (four points in three games). The Bolts need more from their bench, so he has make the most out of his limited playing time, if not, give up what's left of it to Mike Tolomia.
First two games: 7 ppg 3 rpg 3 apg 6 to
Remember last year when Newsome was Meralco's best local, having his way against the Gin Kings backcourt (15.5 ppg 5.3 rpg 5.5 apg)? He must bring back that aggressiveness (0-2 ft) and decisiveness (zero assist-turnover ratio) to break down opposing defenses and make life easier for his teammates.
First two games: 8.5 ppg 5.5 rpg
No one is expecting Hodge to carry the scoring load for the Bolts, but one alarming statistic is his rebounding, which is below his standard. If there's anyone who can offset Ginebra's size with sheer hustle to grab those boards and disrupt passing lanes (one steal in two games), it's him. A double-digit offensive output is merely a bonus.
First two games: 5.5 ppg 16% fg 2-14 3p 2.5 apg
Time to back up all that trash talking with Joe Devance. After leading Meralco in its revenge win during eliminations (17 pts 5 reb 3 ast), Dillinger can't seem to find his mark versus their Finals tormentors. Somebody tell him to just play his game, focus on playmaking, and relish the booing from the kabarangays.