#PBA2016 Commissioner’s Cup Team Rankings 1.0

Images from the PBA/Inquirer.
Are the Meralco Bolts for real? Have the Gin Kings finallly figured things out? Is Star really the worst team in the league right now just as their record suggests? What do we make of Mahindra’s 3-2 record? All these we’ll try to answer in our very first Power Rankings of the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

For this edition and all following editions of the power rankings, please remember that I won’t have any mathematical or theoretical grounding. These will be based solely on my own opinion and observations of things. Keep in mind that player injuries, personnel issues, on-court performances, and game results will all have considerable impact.

Let's go. Time for the disagreeing to begin.

1 - MERALCO BOLTS (5-0)
- The Bolts are, by all intents and purposes, the number one PBA team right now. They’ve beaten some pretty good teams, and they look ripe and ready to give the San Miguel Beermen a big challenge this weekend in Legazpi City. They are dead last in raw scoring per game, but they miles ahead on defense, holding foes to under 90 points per game. It seems they really love slowing down the pace, but that may work against them when they face SMB.


A photo posted by Philippine Basketball Asscn (@pbaconnect) on




2 - BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS (3-2)
- The Gin Kings looked lost and worse for wear after starting the conference 0-2, but they have since strung up three straight wins against Rain or Shine, Star, and Mahindra to gather a lot of steam and rise through the rankings. They’ve really maximized their size as they’re #2 in both rebounding and points allowed. They’ve also become the #1 assists team out there, thanks in large part to the passing prowess of big man Joe Devance.



3 - ALASKA ACES (2-1)
- The Aces are the top scoring team in the league right now, and they showcased their offensive power when they defeated TNT and ROS in succession. Shane Edwards has proven to be a great fit for coach Alex Compton’s wards, while locals like Vic Manuel and Calvin Abueva continue with very strong play. The Aces love to run as proven by their being #1 in assists and fastbreak points, and they are looking to run to get more wins.  

4 - SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN (2-1)
- The shock loss to Mahindra at the start of the conference probably woke the Beermen up in a big way. They have since beaten GlobalPort and Blackwater and are looking to add another scalp to their collection. It’ll be tough to crack the unbeaten Bolts, but if any team can do it, it must be the PHL Cup champs. 

5 - TROPANG TNT (2-3)
- Their record isn’t pretty, but don’t let that mislead you. Tropang TNT remains a strong force in this conference, and, hey, David Simon has been a helluva reinforcement for them so far. As long as everyone stays healthy and committed, TNT should go far in this tourney and have a solid shot of defending their crown.

6 - MAHINDRA ENFORCERS (3-2)
- Mahindra looked like a world beater when they went up to 3-1 after beating NLEX, but then they crashed back to earth in their blowout loss to Ginebra. They have a pair of golden opportunities when they meet vulnerable Phoenix and skidding Rain or Shine in their next matches, so don’t sleep on these Enforcers. 

7 - STAR HOTSHOTS (1-4)
- The Hotshots very nearly tripped Ginebra in their last game, but big plays down the stretch by LA Tenorio and Greg Slaughter flattened them. Their real depth isn’t as bad as their record suggests (they’re the third-best defensive and field goal shooting team and second-best three-point shooting club), but they have to find a way to address their crumbling in the clutch.






8 - GLOBALPORT BATANG PIER (2-3)
- Back-to-back losses to San Miguel Beer and Meralco seem to have taken the sting out of the Batang Pier. They looked mighty dangerous after their first three games, but their recent results and the temporary loss of Stanley Pringle have really dampened their resolve. Here’s to hoping the coming of Jeric Fortuna proves to be a masterful move.

9 - PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS (1-2)
- The Fuel Masters were brilliant in their win over NLEX to start their conference, but a couple of close defeates (to Meralco and TNT) have grounded them. RR Garcia has been playing at an All-Star level, though, and that’s something to marvel. On the other hand, where’s the Willie Wilson who took everyone to school last conference? 

10 - BLACKWATER ELITE (2-3)
- The ultimate high of beating the Alaska Aces in mid-February has been overshadowed by back-to-back losses to Star and SMB. A punishing gauntlet awaits the Elite now as their next three foes are GlobalPort, Ginebra, and Meralco. It’s pretty simple really — either MJ Rhett shapes up, or he gets shipped out.



11 - NLEX ROAD WARRIORS (2-2)
- A promising opening OT win over Ginebra should’ve ushered in another strong conference for the Road Warriors, but losing two of their last three contests certainly doesn’t help. Despite having Asi Taulava, NLEX hasn’t been able to really rule the boards, so guys like Sean Anthony and Rob Reyes really have to up their game even more.

12 - RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO-PAINTERS (1-3)
- For sure, no team has been more disappointing than ROS this conference. Sure, the Painters beat Star in their first game, but the Bolts, Kings, and Aces all throttled them thereafter. Antoine Wright is an okay import, but what they really need is someone who can dominate on both ends the way Wayne Chism could. Maybe get AZ Reid? Oh, that’s funny. 


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