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SF Game 1: Meralco VS TNT - Preview and Prediction

The MVP group will have their own representative for the Finals as the overachieving Meralco Bolts faced the determine TNT Ka Tropa.

TNT has been a dazzling team in the elimination round. Jayson Castro's leadership and plays in the floor and their new found markmanship from the outside has put them in the #1 seed. On the other hand, Meralco Bolts stayed with their strength of scoring inside, all throughout the elimination round and it was the right thing to do. This will be a classic battle of outside sniping against inside scoring.

The Numbers easily points to TNT as the favorite for this series. That 109.4 is 9 points higher than the league average of 100.4. Meralco is the more efficient team and with a better passing mark. The TSWA is showing us the styles of the two teams. One thing that Meralco should take note of is the 1st and 4th Quarter numbers of TNT. The Bolts doesn't have the option be sluggish because TNT can jump off them.

THE KEYS

Key Match-up: Jared Dillinger VS Michael Madanly
Key Stats: Fastbreak Points
Key Question: Ryan Reyes will defend?

Prediction

The bench will be a key to this game and Dillinger and Madanly are the leaders of the second units. The local starters of the Bolts will have a hard time going toe-to-toe with the star studded five of TNT. So, Dillinger will need to provide scoring support from the bench.

I expect one of them to try and quicken the pace. A faster pace has pros and cons for both teams. Lastly, Coach Jhong will have a hard time picking between Chris Newsome and Jimmy Alapag as the main lockdown task of Reyes. Both Meralco guards can heat up right away.

I am going with the safer choice in this one. I expect TNT to play faster than usual and sway Meralco out of their familiar pace. 

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