Balls-Eye: 4 Ways for the League to Keep Up with Gin Kings and SMB

Philippine Cup’s gonna be a war between the twin towers.

But it does not necessarily mean that the rest of the league’s already washed out beforehand.
We cannot deny the fact that 2 squads got the Goliath advantage. But the victory was never assured. All teams have equal chances of getting and winning the title shot in the Philippine Cup. But how can they torment the mighty towers of SMB and Ginebra?

1. Sparks beyond the arc

They may never beat them in the shaded area but a great interior strength brings a slightly loose hold on the rainbow country. Defense is so dense and sucked up inside that almost all forces were focused on that area. Thus, a clearer shooting horizon for every team’s top gunner.

2. Field Efficiency

Tall guys give one significant advantage — rebounds. Now the key to thwarting this weapon is depleting the chances of using it to 0% though realistically it may not be applicable, at least lower the chance to as lowest as possible. How? Take shots that most probably would go in. The less missed shots, the more they couldn’t utilize the size advantage in the defensive end. There’ll be nothing to rebound if there’ll be no misses. Take the shots most probable to go down straight to the hoop.

3. Effective Transition Basketball

A huge line up is an incredible strength but relatively slow. The chances of beating them in a high-paced game is much higher than going head to head. It may be hard to stop their attacks but you would always have the chance to get the points back in a quick transition basket. Remember that defense is weakest when in transit. Too many loopholes uncovered for easy penetration.

4. Believe

Why? Ginebra had Greg Slaughter some few seasons ago and they aren’t absolutely unstoppable. The Coffee Mixers beat them and other teams like TNT. It’s just facing two versions of them in this league that made it different but not quite.
Why?
You won’t face them simultaneously. After all, it is one team vs. One team and the hardest would only be facing two towers at a time and not all four of them.

Philippine Cup: SMB 5-peat or Ginebra 2 in a Row?

Japeth Aguilar blocks June Mar Fajardo

Winning 4 straight Philippine Cup Titles, the San Miguel Beermen is surely eyeing for another one this season. But there’s a mighty blockage on their path — the whole Barangay.
Will Christian Standhardinger be enough to make a difference?
Surely, all you folks are rooting for this two teams this season. The twin tower clash royale. Who got the stronger giant to give its team supremacy and dominance?
Assuming that the only ones left is SMB and Ginebra to take on each other in a do or die finals game 7, who shall prevail?
Let us look at this interesting fact for a while and think of the possibilities.
There’ll always be two sides of the coin. How they’ll let their team win and how they’ll let their team lose.
Let us talk about how both squads would make their team win first. Assuming that the twin towers of each team cancelled out each other, it would be Scottie Thompson’s mushroom rebounding that’ll give Ginebra the huge boost. Not at all times, it would be Greg, Japeth, June Mar or Christian who’ll get the boards. Sooner or later the balance would be broken by a Scottie Thompson and if Ginebra delivers on the succeeding possession, momentum has gone on their way. Nobody in the SMB small men can match up Scottie’s extra hassle.

How about for SMB?

Beermen’s edge would be outside shooting. If their shooters connect, given that the towers neutralized each other once again, then they’ll easily stretch the lead. In fact, chances of beating Ginebra in a shootout favors them. They could also beat Ginebra in transition offense boosted by Chris Ross or Cabagnot to cut through the vulnerable defense in transit.
Most of the time, a team loses in their own hands. Mistakes are inevitable. So here are some that may occur if this hypothetical game would commence.

1. Japeth going out of the paint, so as Christian

Japeth frequently shoots around the perimeter but barely delivers. If this happens, Greg could not handle two beasts under alone. Same goes for Standhardinger. These two big men tend to take shots outside of their comfort zones and this is where things get too risky. Shots are at low probability and rebound would be of the defender’s advantage.

2. Twin Foul troubles

The towers are so prone to fouls given the extreme physicality occurring underneath. They also have no choice but to defend slashers from both squads. Ginebra has the Sol train while SMB has Ross wherein both love to go hard to the basket and penetrate whatever defense is in front of them.

Prediction

Based on an empirical discussion done above. In my own opinion, it would be Ginebra that’ll go home with the title. Their edge? Experience. Standhardinger is a newborn in the league and a coherent bond between key players (which Ginebra happens to have especially between Japeth and Greg) is not easy to beat. 

Balls-Eye: 3 Weaknesses of the Strong Tower Japeth Aguilar

Japeth Aguilar with a teardrop against Hugnatan

During the long years of Greg Slaughter being absent in the Gin Kings roster, Japeth Aguilar somehow, someway filled in the gap left, stepped up his game and leveled up to be a lot stronger than before.
But behind his seemingly unstoppable power, still, there are some weak points in every beast where he is most vulnerable with or can be considered as his weakness.

1 – Japeth Can’t Drive

Maybe sometimes he manages to deliver, but most of the time when he has the ball from the outside and he tries to dash inside, it frequently ends up as a missed shot or a loose ball. His size being his strength becomes his weakness when he tries a hard drive to the basket. Small guys easily touch the leather off his possession.

2 – Japeth’s Poor Perimeter Shooting

Since he could not drive, what’s left to do is to pass or take a shot but of course, you cannot always pass because at times your opponent will do a tight man to man defense wherein no one will be left open to execute an emergency pass. So all that’s left to do is to take a moderately long ball, which he frequently misses. Fajardo’s shooting is much more accurate than his as of now.

3 – Scattered on the floor

It may have been good if he’s consistent on all spots of the court but the fact is he isn’t. Ginebra has the twin towers but Japeth isn’t sticking on the shaded area. Yes, before Greg Slaughter can handle it alone. But this coming season, they aren’t the only twin towers in the house, SMB now has their own duo that is threatening to take them down.
All in all, Japeth is still an efficient player but here are just some of the areas where his strength hasn’t conquered yet. Who knows, maybe this season in a snap his gameplay would evolve.