Oct. 05, 2016
The Five Vital Match-ups in the Finals
The Finals is set and I am pretty sure nobody predicted this match-up. None the less, expect a very entertaining series and great basketball out of the Finals.
Today, we will check the five most vital match-ups in this series.
Baser Amer (18.9 Mins, 6.3 Pts, 2.5 Rebs, 2.0 Asts, 39.3% FG)
Sol Mercado (31.1 Mins, 11.4 Pts, 2.9 Rebs, 4.7 Asts, 45.3% FG)
Both players are coming off the bench but don't underestimate the importance of this match-up. Amer will be task to take on him in a few minutes of full second-units battle in the court. That few minutes could be a game-changer and these two are expected to lead both units as the floor general.
Cliff Hodge (13.3 Pts, 6.5 Rebs, 2.0 Asts, 34.5% 3FG)
Japeth Aguilar (14.1 Pts, 6.0 Rebs, 2.4 Blks, 48.7% FG)
I will surely enjoy this one. Japeth was a game changer in their series against San Miguel. He showed good fortitude on both ends of the court. On the other hand, Cliff sealed their triumph on game 4 against TNT. I think out of all the Meralco players, he has the most drive to win this one. The energy and hustle of the two will be a tide-changer in each game.
Chris Newsome (13.1 Pts, 4.4 Rebs, 4.4 Asts, 54.6% FG)
Earl Scottie Thompson (6.7 Pts, 8.3 Rebs, 4.1 Asts, 36.8% FG)
The battle of the rookies! I expect Newsome to be the primary defender of Thompson which could result in good rebounding battles. Both start-ups were phenomenal in their semifinals series with Newsome making 12.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 33.3% 3FG and Thompson contributing 10.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists. Both young players can be deadly on both ends of the court but only one will be successful each night.
Coach Norman Black VS Coach Tim ConeWith 29 PBA titles between them, I don't have a doubt that this is the greatest coach match-up in the history of the PBA finals. Both coaches has anchored their team to the defensive end but they created solid offenses too. Coach Norman was fantastic in showcasing Reynel Hugnatan in the TNT series while Coach Tim Cone's defense against Fajardo was topnotch. What kind of tricks will they show in the Finals? We will find out.
Allen Durnham (29.4 Pts, 15.2 Rebs, 4.9 Asts, 1.4 Blks, 57.5% FG)
Justin Brownlee (29.3 Pts, 11.6 Rebs, 4.1 Asts, 36.7% 3FG, 51.3% FG)
Durnham and Brownlee exhibited their willingness to adjust and provide what their teams need during the semifinals. I expect that again from the two. Justin is a great lockdown defender so I expect him to man up Durnham in majority of the game. Durnham was as efficient and as effective in their offense. This is the most important match-up in the game. Without Brownlee's defense and Durnham's offense, their team will loss.