#PBA2015 GOVS CUP PREVIEW: KIA CARNIVAL vs PUREFOODS STAR HOTSHOTS - SINK OR SWIM?

As of this writing, Kia has won three of its four games and is sitting pretty near the top right behind leaders Barako Bull and Alaska. On the other hand, we have Purefoods Star, which has lost four of its five games and is mired in the cellar together with NLEX and Blackwater. The Carnival are coming off a huge win against fellow expansion team Blackwater and are looking good to make a legitimate challenge for a spot in the quarterfinals. PUR, meanwhile, is coming off its fourth straight loss, this time to the Alaska Aces, and things don’t look too good for the defending champs as powerhouse teams Ginebra, ROS, and TNT are to follow after this match against Kia.






Kia, despite not having the deepest well of local talent, has been able to find a way to not just tread water but actually thrive this conference. The addition of imports Hamady N’Diaye and Jet Chang has undeniably given the Carnival a big boost. N’Diaye has done a swell job of patrolling the paint and protecting the rim, while Chang has been, at times, this team’s best offensive option. A win here puts Kia in an even better position to stay at the top half of the league standings.

PUR has already lost two of its Grand Slam jewels this season, and, the way things are going, it sure looks like they may lose this one as well. The Hotshots have really struggled after winning their opening day assignment against NLEX, with import Marqus Blakely not really getting consistently good support from the locals. They are still the defending champs, though, so expect them to continue playing with pride and desperation. The question, though, is whether those will be enough to save PUR’s sinking ship?

Previous results:
PHL Cup
PUR beat KIA, 88-77

COMM Cup
KIA beat PUR, 95-84


1. HAMADY N’DIAYE: BLOCK PARTY
- Senegalese giant Hamady N’Diaye may not have the most polished offensive game, but his defensive acumen is without peer. In his last game, N’Diaye rejected NINE shots, helping Kia ward off a stiff challenge from the Elite. At 7-feet tall, he will, once again, tower over the opposition in this game, and if he can dominate again on the glass and around the rim, PUR will have a very long night.

Stats: 15.5ppg, 15.5rpg, 5.3bpg, 74.2 FG%
Last game: 16pts, 23rebs, 9 blks, 7/11 FGs


2. JET FUEL
- If N’Diaye is Kia’s defensive anchor, then Jet Chang is the fuel that runs the Kia offense. This he showed in the Carnival’s previous game against BLA, where the Taiwanese star wingman erupted for a season-high 25 points. As always, Chang got his buckets through a variety of drives, but he also made his presence felt elsewhere as he grabbed 6 rebounds, handed out 4 assists, and had 3 steals. He may be a handful for PUR’s wing defenders in this one, too.

Stats: 16.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.8spg, 36.9 FG%
Last game: 25pts, 6rebs, 4asts, 3stls, 9/23 FGs


3. STRUGGLING NUYLES
- In contrast to Chang, one guy who has been struggling of late for Kia has been new relatively acquisition Alex Nuyles. Nuyles had a great first game this conference when Kia beat San Miguel, but his game has been up-and-down since then. In the Carnival’s previous game against BLA, Nuyles struggled, making just 1 of his 14 FG attempts while also turning the ball over four times. He will need to play better here if KIA is to defeat a foe as formidable as PUR.

First 3 games: 11.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.0apg, 43.3 FG%
Last game: 8pts, 5rebs, 0asts, 1/14 FGs


4. KIA: MAKE THOSE THREES
- Throughout their first three games, the Carnival shot pretty well from beyond the arc, making an average of 7 triples per outing. They struggled in their last game, though, making just 3 of 23 attempts from rainbow country. Against a tough and championship-caliber squad like PUR, Kia will have a very difficult time unless it can rediscover its potency from three-point land.

First 3 games: 28/71 3pt shooting, 39.4%, 9.3 triples per game
Last game: 3/23 3pt shooting, 13.0%


5. PUR: EVERYTHING DOESN’T SEEM TO BE ENOUGH
- For yet another game, Star import Marqus Blakely put up good numbers, but, again, his team wasn’t able to provide strong local support. As good as he is, Blakely just cannot win games on his own, especially not when Kia has two very good imports in its own roster.

Stats: 23.8ppg, 14.0rpg, 3.4apg, 2.8spg, 2.6bpg, 63.5 FG%, 65.0 FT%
Last game: 22pts, 12rebs, 2asts, 1blk, 6/8 FGs, 10/12 FTs


6. FROM COFFEE PRINCE TO PRINCE HOTSHOT?
- One guy who did step up was the former Coffee Prince Mark Barroca, who, perhaps, can now be called Prince Hotshot? Barroca was the lone local player who dropped double-figure scoring in PUR’s last game. He has actually put two good back-to-back games together, and the Hotshots will need him to continue playing well if they are to break their losing streak.

First 3 games: 7.3ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.7apg, 1.3spg, 30.4 FG%
Last 2 games: 16.0ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.0apg, 1.0spg, 48.1 FG%


7. TURNOVER AFTER TURNOVER
- Prior to their last game, the Hotshots were pretty good at taking care of the basketball, but they coughed it up badly against ALA, turning the rock over 21 times. They cannot afford to do that again, especially against a team like Kia, which loves to play high octane offense. 

First 4 games: 16.0 TOs per game
Last game: 21 TOs
Pingris - 5 TOs
Blakely - 4 TOs
Devance - 4 TOs
Barroca - 3 TOs


8. PUR: KILLED IN THE PAINT
- One other thing that didn’t help PUR’s cause in its last game was its being dominated in the paint by the Aces. ALA outrebounded PUR, 41-38, and outscored the Hotshots in terms of pts in the paint and 2nd chance pts. Without a doubt, the Hotshots need to fix this to hope for a better result in this game.

Rebounds: PUR 38, ALA 41
Pts in the paint: PUR 32, ALA 40
2nd chance pts: PUR 2, ALA 12


Previous
Next Post »
0 Comment