We are down to our last four games and all of it will have a vital effect into the standings!
Mahindra and Purefoods will be battling for the #8 spot, Meralco will try to put an exclamation point to their impressive elimination round, NLEX wants to have an outside for a top 6 finish in their game against Alaska and San Miguel will try to solidify their #2 spot.
Those games will not only settle the seeding for the playoffs but it will also answer three important questions, entering the Playoffs!
#3 Do the Star Hotshots still have the heart of a champion?
The most recent franchise to accomplish a grandslam has been a very shaky team when their former grandslam mentor, Coach Tim Cone, was shipped to their archrival, Ginebra San Miguel. Nobody expected that to happen because the management maintained the core of that Grandslam squad this year.
Marc Pingris, Mark Barroca, James Yap, PJ Simon, Ian Sangalang, Justin Melton, Allein Maliksi, Rafi Reavis, Alex Mallari and Jerwin Gaco were all part of that grandslam team and nobody expected that a championship core like this will not be able to handle the replacement of their mentor. Maybe, it was all about Coach in 2014. Maybe, they never develop a heart of a champion. We could find that out on Wednesday,
#2 Shane Edwards or Rob Dozier?
The judgement day is coming for the two resident imports of the Alaska Aces! There is a chance that it could happen earlier this week but if Coach Alex still go with Shane Edwards, I expect their game against NLEX to be the last deciding factor.
Rob Dozier is already 100% but the risk of him re-injuring his feet and not having the choice of putting Edwards back has forced the Aces to keep Edwards. The Aces have a hard time playing teams with legit bigmen and they will face another one on Friday, Asi Taulava.
I believe, size is the biggest difference between the two and that makes Rob more valuable against team with legit bigs. But, a good showing against NLEX, specially in defending Taulava, could satisfy coach Alex and make him remains.
#1 Who is the best Defensive Team in the Conference?
The game that I am most excited about is no other than the Brgy, Ginebra San Miguel versus Meralco Bolts. This is the battle of the best defensive squads this conference.
Meralco Bolts is putting up the #1 Points Allowed (91.0), #1 in FG% Allowed (40.9%) and #1 in 3FG% Allowed (31.0%). On the other hand, Ginebra is putting up the #2 Points Allowed (92.5), #2 FG% Allowed (41.4%) and #4 in Forced Turnovers (16.6).
The match-up is a great test for the two in the defensive end. Meralco will need to find a way to limit the very tall frontline of Ginebra while Ginebra will need to try and limit the inside-outside attack of Meralco. Defense is the #1 weapon of both teams but testing their offense against their top defense counterpart could be a good gauge entering the playoffs.