2016 PBA Governors’ Cup Preview: Phoenix Fuel Masters vs Rain or Shine Elasto Painters
At 5-6, both ROS and PHX are tied for 8th spot, and this game will decide who makes it to the playoffs and who gets eliminated. PHX is at a disadvantage, of course, since they are coming off back to back losses, and they also lost to ROS in their previous match.
Speaking of that loss, the Fuel Masters shot poorly, making only 38% of their shots while allowing ROS ro make more than half of their field goals. That just cannot happen again, especially not with their playoff lives at stake. PHX has to find a way to be more aggressive in attacking the basket while also keeping the pressure up on D. That’s easier said than done, of course, especially against a highly motivated ROS squad.
Speaking of ROS, they looked pretty good in their won over STA. They shot well, nearly 50% from the field, and also played tight defense, forcing 22 Hotshot turnovers. This is ROS at its best — making shots and making stops — and if they are allowed to play at that level, they are a championship-caliber team, as proven by their COMM Cup title last conference. If there’s any team that the other clubs should be wary of, it’s ROS.
1. HUGE MONEY MATCH-UP: HUGE EUGE X JOSH DOLLAR-D
– Eugene Phelps has been a crazy productive import this conference. Heck, he may even be in the running for Best Import if PHX makes it far int he playoffs, but he will have his hands full against Dollard, who has been pretty solid since coming in as ROS’s third import this conference. PHX has less depth, though, so they will need a big game for Phelps to defeat ROS.
Phelps (vs GIN): 24pts, 16rebs, 5asts, 1blk
Dollard (vs STA): 27pts, 14rebs, 4asts, 1stl, 1 triple
2. AGGRESSORS: SIMON ENCISO X PAUL LEE
– Basketball has become a guard’s game nowadays, and we see that in the PBA as well. In this game, we will see two of the most aggressive guards out there in Simon Enciso and Paul Lee. Enciso is coming in red hot after hitting 5 threes against GIN, while Lee is also coming from a good outing in ROS’s win over STA. Whoever is able to provide more firepower at the PG spot will give his team a significant edge.
Last games vs each other:
Enciso: 7pts, 2rebs, 6asts, 1stl, 1 triple
Lee: 11pts, 4rebs, 3asts, 1 triple
3. VETERAN FLAVOR: BAGUIO X CHAN
– Cyrus Baguio has been one of the most reliable guys for PHX this conference, and the Fuel Masters will rely on him to provide some scoring punch at the wings. Chan, meanwhile, will be ROS’s designated buster from long distance. Chan has been on a bit of a cold spell the last couple of games, though, so ROS hopes he can pop in this contest.
Last game vs each other:
Baguio: 9pts, 3rebs, 5asts, 1stl, 1 triple
Chan: 0pts, 3rebs, 3asts, 0/7 FGs
4. LIGHT A SPARK! LEE GWAN-HEE X JERICHO CRUZ
– Both Lee and Cruz have provided sparks for their respective teams at different points this conference, and they will continue to play those roles in this match. Cruz had a great game in ROS’s win over PHX earlier this conference, while Lee was still adjusting to the PBA game. Now, the story may be different, especially with Lee firmly entrenched as part of the Fuel Masters’ main rotation.
Last game vs each other:
Lee: 7pts, 1reb, 3stls, 1 triple
Cruz: 13pts, 5rebs, 2asts, 1stl, 1 triple
5. CENTERS OF ATTENTION: TORRES X QUINAHAN
Norbert Torres is not a top tier center (yet), but he will have to play like one against ROS’s Extra Rice Inc, which is bannered right now by JR Quiñahan. Besides, the last time these two teams met, Torres had a strong showing, putting up a near-double-double line. If he can do that again, PHX may just pull one over the Painters.
Last game vs each other:
Torres: 16pts, 8rebs, 1ast, 1blk, 6/11 FGs
Quiñahan: 18pts, 5rebs, 5asts, 1 triple, 8/14 FGs
6. PHX: RUN DEVIL RUN
– PHX did a very good job running the basketball and scoring in transition vs ROS the last time they met. PHX, in fact, is tops in the conference in fastbreak points, and they should leverage that here since ROS is in the bottom 3 in terms of transition defense.
Last Game vs ROS:
Fastbreak Pts – PHX 15, ROS 5
Fastbreak Pts – PHX 15.9ppg (#1), ROS 11.5ppg (#8)
Fastbreak Pts allowed – PHX 11.7ppg (#4), ROS 13.8ppg (#10)
7. ROS: MIND THOSE MISTAKES
– At 18.6 turnovers per game, ROS is one of the most error-prone teams in the league. They’ll have to check that in this contest, especially with PHX as one of the best in terms of forcing TOs. Guys like Lee, Cruz, Norwood, Tiu, and Ahanmisi have to do a good job of taking care of the basketball.
Last Game vs PHX:
Turnovers – ROS 17, PHX 15
Turnovers per game – ROS 18.6, PHX 19.0
Turnovers allowed per game – ROS 17.4, PHX 18.7
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.