It’ll be a game between a team fighting for its playoff life and a team fighting to salvage some pride at the end of a disappointing season. STA has been one of the most embattled teams this season, and so many rumors are swirling around them now, but to play the spoiler’s role may just be what the team needs to end their 2015-2016 campaign on a bright note.
ROS needs to beat STA here to keep their hopes of finishing among the top 8 teams alive. If ROS wins, they may end up in a three-way tie with PHX & ALA for the last two spots in the top 8, and since ROS beat BOTH ALA & PHX, ROS will end up 7th and ALA will be 8th. A loss for ROS means they will drop out of the playoff race and automatically send ALA, NLX, & PHX to the quarterfinals.
ROS seemed poised to make a run for maybe the top 4 when they beat MAH a couple of weeks ago, but their back to back losses since then have sent them crashing down the standings. They are coming off a tight loss to SMB, and not they have to win here just to stay alive.
After salvaging a win against MER, STA gained some confidence, but that was quashed again when they lost to TNT a few days ago. Now, the Hotshots are at the center of a couple of issues, and they will have to set aside those distractions to have a shot at beating a motivated ROS quintet.
ROS and STA have met 2x this season, with ROS beating the Hotshots both times. That should give coach Yeng Guiao’s wards a lot of confidence in this match, but it may also be the motivation STA needs to finally break through and give their legions of fans something to smile about.
1. ROS: WORTH EVERY DOLLARD?
– Josh Dollard was brought in to replace the ineffective Jason Forte, and he had a respectable outing with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. That, however, was not enough to help ROS beat SMB, and for sure they want more from their import here against STA if the Painters are stay alive for the playoffs.
Match-up with Mike Singletary:
Dollard – 18pts, 9rebs, 6asts, 1stl, 1blk, 1 triple, 7/17 FGs.
Singletary – 23pts, 12rebs, 4asts, 2stls, 1blk, 7/21 FGs.
2. ROS: THE REAL JR’S BACK?
– For a while this conference, JR Quiñahan has been just a shadow of his real self, but in ROS’s last two games it seems he has rediscovered his mojo. Quiñahan is a huge part of ROS’s gameplan in every match, so they will need him to be in good fighting form here against the Hotshots.
August 21 to Sept. 2 (3 games): 5.7ppg, 4.7rpg, 00.0 3pt%, 33.3 FG%.
Sept 4 to 10 (2 games): 10.5ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.0 triple per game, 42.1 FG%.
3. ROS: SPUTTERING STARTERS
– ROS’s starters were flatly outplayed by their SMB counterparts in their last game, and, frankly speaking, that just cannot happen again. One reason is that Dollard wasn’t in the starting line-up, but guys like Paul Lee, Beau Belga, and Gabe Norwood should’ve stepped up anyway. If the Painters’ starting unit struggles again here, they might just miss the playoff bus.
Starters Pts – ROS 30, SMB 62
Lee – 1/5, 2pts
Gabe – 2/4, 5pts
Beau – 2/7, 6pts
Trollano – 1/3, 5pts
Ponferada – 4/10, 12pts
4. STA: WRIGHT HERE, WRIGHT NOW
– STA import Joel Wright will be playing his final PBA game right here and now, and he will certainly want to make a good final impression. He has been a double-double machine for the Hotshots, but they’ve just been unable to close out their games. Still, a win here will at least give Wright one more good memory from his time with STA.
vs TNT: 27pts, 17rebs, 5asts, 2stls, 3blks, 9/20 FGs.
Stats: 28.7ppg, 15.3rpg, 2.7apg, 1.7spg, 1.7bpg, 49.6 FG%.
5. STA: SIZZLING SIMON
– PJ Simon has been on fire the past four games for STA, though it hasn’t really resulted in wins for the Hotshots. Still, despite their misfortunes, the Hotshots need Simon to remain on target here as he has been their most dependable local player.
First 6 games: 8.8ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.5 triples per game, 39.1 FG%.
Last 4 games: 17.3ppg, 1.8rpg, 2.5 triples per game, 54.3 FG%.
6. STA: BATTERED ON THE BOARDS
– The Hotshots lost the rebounding battle against TNT, 61-48. Consequently, they also gave up 19 2nd chance points. Those are things they cannot afford to happen again, not against a team like ROS that’s desperate for a big win.
2nd chance Pts – STA 10, TNT 19
Rebs – STA 48, TNT 61
Wright – 17rebs
Pingris – 11rebs
Barroca – 5rebs
7. KEY MATCH-UP: PAUL LEE X MARK BARROCA
– Paul Lee and Mark Barroca have both played for Gilas, and both have, at one point or another, been at the top tier of the PBA’s point guards. Needless to say, their play will be crucial in determining the fate of their respective clubs. Lee is coming off a bad game and wants to bounce back big time, while Barroca has been consistent, if a little unspectacular, for STA. Whichever playmaker is able to dictate the tempo should give his team a huge boost.
Lee last game: 2pts, 3rebs, 3asts, 1/5 FGs.
Barroca last game: 10pts, 5rebs, 1 triple, 4/9 FGs.
Lee stats: 12.0ppg, 2.8rpg, 3.4apg, 35.5 3pt%, 42.6 FG%.
Barroca stats: 10.7ppg, 3.9rpg, 4.3apg, 1.1spg, 30.3 3pt%, 43.9 FG%.