View Full Version : Semis: TNT vs. SMB

01-13-2009, 01:20 PM
My post comes with two parts. First a closer look at the numbers and their implications on this series and the next one what i perceive to be they keys for the match-up.


First up, numbers generally donít lie but they donít tell the entire story so take it for what itís worth. The numbers above are the statistics for both squads when they met twice earlier this conference. San Miguel took game one, 84-77 and Talk N Text bounced back in the redo with an 85-80 win. Here are the three (and some) key categories which will define this best-of-seven series:


In their first meeting, San Miguel had the big edge in rebounding (83-53) and had a +10 advantage on the offensive glass as well converting 21 second chance points, eight more than the Texters. Despite have more than 10 turnovers, San Miguel was able to get extra points on the boards that help bring them the W. IN the return match at Singapore, it was the Texters who had the edge in the offensive rebounding department (21-16) converting 14 second chance points compared to San Miguelís 6, a measly effort compared to their output in the first meeting. It did not help that San Miguel again had problem taking care of the ball (24 TOís) even as TNT did their share in containing their errors (12)


Curiously, despite shooting just 13.8 per cent from beyond the arc and generally having a bad shooting night San Miguel still won in the first game. Why? Because TNT shot even worst from three-land (Made just 10 in 48!) and the field as well (29.5%) But will they leave the three point land? I donít think so. To an extent both teams live (and die) by the three-ball. Whoever shoots better and find their rhythm early will have the advantage.


The irony is this: for a couple of teams that falls in love with the outside shot they are actually more effective when they attack the basket and fish for fouls. In San Miguelís victory they went to the line 18 times and succeeded in making 66.7 per cent of their foul shots. TNT did attack the hoop and finished with 22 FTA however they could not capitalize and just made half of those shots. Meanwhile, in the second game it was TNTís turn to take advantage from the line. They shot just 63 per cent but went from the 4.5 meter line 30 times while San Miguel was better (73%) they could only muster 15 FTA. Clearly, whoever attacks the hoop and is the more aggressive team will get their time at the line--- and they should take advantage.

CONCLUSION: Both teams practically use the same fast-pace style but at the same time attacks the offensive glass--- meaning the easy fastbreak and 2nd chance points will be vital to this series. The hot (or cold) hand from beyond will likely define which team would have the advantage and the shooting from the free throw line will most likely provide the difference.

DT's Keys for San Miguel Beer

+ Know Your Identity. Stick with it, shove it to TNT's face and use it to the hilt. And that means running, running and more running. Obviously, both squads have high-powered offenses to brag about and their depth, something really to drool at. That said, it's about the Beermen sticking to their newfound glory in the oldschool fast pace offense. Like any plan it's always double-edged. Against the potential of the TNT squad, the plan to run could very well blow up on their own faces. But the real key here is sticking and believing with the system--- a system that obviously worked in the wildcard phase and just recently agains the Kings in the quarterfinal round.

+ Wing for the Win. Ride Hontiveros' hot streak... And to an extent trust Bon Bon even more. Moreover, Lordy Tugade has yet to see an above average game in the playoffs--- maybe it's his time to shine. Winning the shooting guard/small forward battle should be a priority. This is because of two points; a) TNT's wings are also very capable offensively, if you can't stop or contain them, at least make them work on the defensive end. The usual suspects will be there; Mac Cardona and maybe even the rookies (Dillinger, Castro) will step up. and b) TNT's depth across the 1-5 spots can neutralize San Miguel's own depth that it is vital for the Beermen to win in the said positions.

+ Heart, heart and heart. If there's one thing that San Miguel learned in the wildcard then in the quarters it's that it's not talent alone that will win you ballgames--- it's that innate and basic desire to wanting to win because it's all that matters. The test of the wild card was a surprise phase for the much-maligned "all star" line-up. And Ginebra became the tough customer that everyone expected. But... Siot's boys learned the lessons (the hard way) and the Beermen should simply remember those lessons.

01-19-2009, 01:42 PM
Im worried of SMB. Somebody's got to step in the post with Dorian injured. Marc Pingris should step up if ever Coach Siot is going to use him.

01-19-2009, 02:33 PM
Game 3 Recap: TNT 110, SMB 106

Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. After a ho-hum opening games--- one was a blowout, the other a rather expected victory--- the TNT-SMB series upped the semifinals fever with a classic game three which might as well be the best game of the series.

The series was described as a match made in heaven and it showed in the third installment. Good games are dictated by good match-ups. And when you have endless supply of offensive players, surely you'll have nonstop, end-to-end action at some point... And that was exactly what happened at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

Don Don Hontiveros was especially hot, shooting 8 of 12 from the three-land which included some quick-trigger attempts which speak volumes of his range, and confidence. The Cebuano finished with a career-high 39 points in 39 minutes. To boot, he added 9 rebounds and a couple of blocked shots. Not a bad game until...

Jimmy Alapag showed up. The spitfire guard scattered 22 points but none bigger by a string of baskets at the end game. Clearly now, TNT has realized that he is their leader--- either by scoring or helping his teammates--- and that they should run the plays through him to win this series. Alapag though knows he can't do it alone...

Ranidel de Ocampo hit a big three to steal the lead some time in the last two minutes... Harvey Carey and Ali Peek crashed the glass all night long stealing offensive rebounds and willingly and ably converting them. Somewhere, Dorian Pena's foot is still hurting--- and hurting San Miguel inside.

Despite the heroics of the abovementioned players there were some who faltered--- either by pressure, lack of composure or simply, lack of experience... Experiencing some or all of that were...

Mac Mac Cardona. Booed and bothered in Game Two, then booed and bothered in the next as well was not his usual self. Give credit to San Miguel fans (around 9,000 of 'em) for this strategy. Clearly, Captain Hook was out of his zone because SMB fans decided out of the blue to hate him. Welcome to the pro league, Mac Mac. If you are not with us, you are against us--- that's the clear message from the fans. Sure, the La Sallite earned some hate during his UAAP wars--- but he was at a loss because at least in college they have their reasons to abhor him, but in the pros? Overnight, you become the enemy because that is what it is.

Then, there was the Bon Bon Custodio shot at the end game. Playing practically like an experienced veteran in previous games and series, the former UE stalwart found himself hitting the rookie wall (Also called Mountain Peek) with a rather questionable, rather ill-advised and rather bad shot that could have tied the ball game and sent it to overtime. Key word: could have.

What could have been the better decision was to find a way to find Don Don and ride his hot streak, after all the latter had 39 points at the point. i love Siot's confidence and trust with the rookie--- in the long run that pays dividends. But this was a situation when that decision haunted him. With rookies, you get some and you lose some. Too bad really that this one was a big loss. Key phrase: i'd take a Don Don missed three to end that game--- it's destiny. But no, Bon Bon decided to align his stars...




While San Miguel looked the hotter team for the evening, it was Talk Ní Text which shot the ball better at 48.8 per cent clip. Blame this one with the likes of Carey and Peek getting easy putbacks. San Miguel had a chance to up the lead multiple times in the last 5 minutes (and even the entire game) but the big men of TNT was just up to the task of abusing SMB downlow without Pena and Washington.

Both teams actually had trouble taking care of the ball as they turned the ball over 39 times. San Miguel being the more aggressive on the passing lanes with 9 steals compared to TNTís 2 takeaways. Both teams took advantage of that as well with San Miguel converting 19 points off TOís and TNT, 20.

Why did San Miguel lead for most part? Because they were more aggressive to the hoop earning 43 foul line shots and converting 86 per cent of those shots. Meanwhile, TNT just went to the line 24 times though they made good out of it converting 19 of those shots.

How did Talk N Text win the game? While San Miguel (particularly, especially maybe even exclusively Hontiveros) was shooting the lights out early on, they faltered in the last few minutes of the outing. On the other side of the coin, TNT was starting to hit (clutch) shots featuring Alapag and a little bit of Ranidel. Not to mention (and repeating for emphasis) that Carey and Peek were constantly inside the paint turning garbage into gold. Defensively, it showed that TNT can adjust when in dire straits. They forced Hontiveros into some forced shots in the latter part and sent the help necessary during post-up plays and penetrations--- the defense on Bon Bon in the last play was just the icing on the defensive cake.

What to expect in Game Four? This is getting redundant now: more and more of the same. Both teams did not leave their three point shooting behind--- a primary weapon they believe. But at the same time, itís the teams that does the little things called offensive rebounding and forced turnovers (steals) that will decide the outcome of the series eventually. Game One, TNT jumped on the Beermen. Game Two, SMB decided to match that energy. Game Three, TNT was more aggressive inside. Game FourÖ More and more of the same.

(Updated series stats for the series can be found at: www.cheezepaper.blogspot.com)

01-19-2009, 04:29 PM
i was really bothered by the fact that TnT was having a very hard time when san miguel is nearly handicap without peŮa and a playing injured tugade...

01-21-2009, 04:34 PM
Well, that's good news to us SMB fans, right?:D

i am not sure with Pena but JWash should play tonight. That should address defensive rebounding a bit--- if the Beermen can't boxout well i see a repeat of game three tonight.

01-23-2009, 12:15 PM
Mananalo team ko mamaya, promise! 1 game at a time SMB! :)

01-26-2009, 11:56 AM
Tsk SMB should have fouled TNT in their last play. TNT just milked the time. What a disappointing season for my team.

01-26-2009, 04:18 PM
Yes, a rather sad and painful exit in what was a wild and wooly, up and down season. TNT deserves it, they are the better team.