#PBA2017 Commish Cup Power Rankings - April 12, 2017

San Miguel Beer is on top!
(image from the PBA)
This first appeared on PBA.ph.

To say that the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup has been interesting is a gross understatement. Sure, everyone expected the Beermen to continue their strong play, but did anyone see the Meralco Bolts rising so fast up the table? How about the Alaska Aces and the Star Hotshots? 

This conference is slowly shaping up to be wide open, and we wouldn't want it any other way, right? I have SMB probably continuing to dominate in almost every remaining game in the elims, while I expect the Katropa and the Gin Kings to gain steam as the weeks pass by. I think Alaska is good enough to hold on to a top four spot, but I'm not as confident of the Hotshots' ability to do so. Oh well, let's just see how things unravel. 

Let's look at our first power rankings for this conference. 

1 - San Miguel Beermen (2-0)
- The Beermen handed the Bolts their only loss so far this conference, and then followed that up with an impressive 22-point blowout of the Phoenix Fuel Masters. Import Charles Rhodes and reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo have been playing well together, while everything has been clicking. All signs point to the Beermen maybe topping the Commish Cup standings like they did last season. 

2 - TNT Katropa (4-1)
- TNT started the conference on a whimper, losing to sister team Meralco, but they have since been practically invincible, winning four straight to create a logjam for third place. Their last three wins have been really close, though, so there is still a lot for coach Nash Racela to tinker, especially with marquee teams GlobalPort, Ginebra, and SMB as their next three assignments.

3 - Meralco Bolts (5-1)
- A hot-as-heck 4-0 start turned a lot of heads, but a loss to the Beermen brought the Bolts back to earth. They rebounded nicely against the erstwhile unbeaten Aces, though, and that points to improved chemistry and maturity for coach Norman Black's wards. We also cannot look past import Alex Stepheson, who has been a beast, and the crazy improvement of playmaker Baser Amer, who is playing stellar ball.

4 - Star Hotshots (4-1)
- Sure, the Hotshots are coming off a stinging loss to rivals Ginebra in last weekend's Manila Clasico, but there is still something to be said about this club's 4-0 start to the conference. And, fine, they haven't played most of the top tier teams yet, but with the improved play of guys like Allein Maliksi and Jio Jalalon as well as Tony Mitchell's productivity, the Hotshots can be legit contenders this conference.

5 - Alaska Aces (4-1)
- Boy, the Aces began their Commish Cup campaign on fire, dealing blowout losses to the Batang Pier and Elite before tight wins against the Floodbuster and Elasto-Painters. Losing to the Bolts last Saturday was bitter, but they have a great chance to bounce back against Phoenix next week. Cory Jefferson has been rock-solid for this team, while Calvin Abueva and Sonny Thoss have complemented his game well. 

6 - Bgy. Ginebra Gin Kings (2-1)
- Leading off their campaign with a loss to Phoenix was far from ideal, but the Gin Kings have bounced back well since then, pocketing convincing Ws over GlobalPort and Star. They have a great shot at winning again when they face NLEX, but acid tests will follow soon after against TNT and Alaska. Justin Brownlee also seems to have found his bearings, and once he catches fire, things will continue to look up for Ginebra.

7 - Rain or Shine Elasto-Painters (4-2)
- ROS started well with a 3-0 slate, and after losing back-to-back to Meralco and Alaska, they recovered well with an escape act over Phoenix. Their next three games will be killer (SMB, Star, and Ginebra), but if they manage to win even just one of those, they should be in good shape to punch a quarterfinals berth. Also, man, that Shawn Taggart can play, and their three-headed dragon at the wings (Yap, Chan, Cruz) has been mighty deadly.

8 - Blackwater Elite (1-4)
- There is not much to smile about if you're a Blackwater fan, but at least they managed to derail GlobalPort last weekend, 118-113. Not having Mac Belo and Art Dela Cruz for the near future is going to suck big time, but it also gives guys like Reil Cervantes, Mike DiGregorio, Ronjya Buenafe, and Roi Sumang more space and time to shine. Of course, import Greg Smith has been a one-man wrecking crew, too, so there's that. 

9 - GlobalPort Batang Pier (1-4)
- The Batang Pier really looked bad early in the conference, but a returning Terrence Romeo gives them hope. They big win over NLEX also shone a ray of light on their chances of maybe making a quarterfinal run as well. If Dylan Ababou and Von Pessumal can be consistent contributors for the Batang Pier, that will take a bit of pressure from Romeo, Stanley Pringle, and import Malcolm White. They'll have a tough test against TNT next, but some winnable games against Mahindra, Phoenix, and Meralco follow.

10 - Phoenix Fuel Masters (2-4)
- Phoenix started the conference well with a win over Blackwater, but they have lost four of their last five since then. Sure, Matthew Wright showcased his brilliance in an unexpected victory over Ginebra, but the team has been fairly inconsistent the whole conference so far. Of their last five games, they should be slightly favored over Mahindra and NLEX, but they will be underdogs against Alaska, Meralco, and GlobalPort.

11 - Mahindra Floodbuster (1-5)
- Mahindra should actually winless right now if not for NLEX bungling their game last March 24. The Floodbuster have lost back-to-back since acquiring new import Keith Wright, though it is worth noting they very nearly upset TNT last weekend. LA Revilla and Alex Mallari paired up for 37 points in that win, and it will be huge for this team's quarterfinal chances if they can continue putting up big numbers.

12 - NLEX Road Warriors (0-6)
- Coach Yeng can spin it any way he wants, but the fact of the matter is his team has been terrible. They've fallen behind early and lost, but in most games they have actually held the lead only to squander it in the endgame. For a winless team, NLEX has actually been quite competitive, having registered no double-digit losses this conference. Their last three defeats, in fact, have been decided by an average of just 3.3 points. Still, moral victories count for exactly nothing on the win-loss column. 




Next Post »
0 Comment