Posted: 2/8/2013 1:14:32 AM
Petron Blaze Boosters
Team Mojo: B+
Last Conference: 6-8 SU | 6-8 ATS | 5-9 O/U
Outlook: Despite a horrible first conference of Coach Racela, I think the people would need to see cohesion and better rotation until they jump on the Boosters' bandwagon again. Junmar has been a revelation in the last few games and has been seen banging bodies even with imports in the ABL. We'll most likely see a Cabagnot-Lutz/Lassiter-Santos/Washington-Fajardo-Balkman starting unit. With this much talent, a better system should be put to use for them to bring them out. Racela has always gone with a short rotation and never really asking much from the other guys. Same old story for the Booster and only time would tell when they'll be the next Tropang Texters.
Renaldo Balkman is the shortest of this conference's imports measuringonly 6'5" without shoes but is the only one with the longest NBA experience. Petron doesn't really need another scoring threat but an energy guy who can do all the dirty works for this team. Officially measured at 6-8, he's a guy who can play 3,4 or the 5 spot for the Boosters. I think Petron picks up where they left off last conference and pretty much hover in the middle pack. I still have doubts with Junmar's aggressiveness offensively but he has the potential to go beyond. Petron, despite having a packed roster, is this conference's dark horse to win it all.
Rain or Shine Elaso Painters
Team Mojo: A
Last Conference: 9-5 SU | 9-5 ATS | 5-9 O/U
Outlook: I don't think there is much to say about this team. With no real player movement or upgrade, this team looks to be in good shape for the next year or two. They have the still improving players in Chan, Norwood, Lee, Tiu and Jervy Cruz. They are also the most dangerous when healthy and could really give any team a run for their money. They are a team that can rotate 5-guys in and 5-guys out any day and have the right balance of players to sustain a high level of basketball.
Bruno Sundov is the tallest in the bunch at 7'3" but is pegged to look for more jumpers than forcing his way with his size. It really isn't a problem for the Elasto Painters as they are built to play that way. The downside here is that Sundov has not much mobility and ahtletecism and does not offer much defensively.
If Sundov doesn't fair well offensively, I can see them replacing him early on. I also think we'll see a lot of stretches where the Painters will be playing all-filipino from time to time. ATS-wise, RoS is a team you can expect to always climb right back even after being down 20+ in a game. That's how hard these players ball night-in and night-out.
San Mig Coffee Mixers
Team Mojo: A-
Last Conference: 10-4 SU | 7-7 ATS | 5-9 O/U
Outlook: San Mig Coffee Mixers traded for Alex Mallari who Tim Cone is very fond off and is working him to be his next Combo Guard (but more of a Point). Lester Alvarez is also another promising point guard in the fold who'll play backup to the ever improving Mark "Coffee Prince" Barroca, who played big during the playoffs for the Mixers. Tim Cone's offense will again be spear-headed by James Yap who pledged to have a better outing than his disappearance in the semis last conference. He'll be backed by Joe Devance, YDO, PJ Simon and Pingris in an attempt to score back-to-back Commissioner's Cup Throphies.
Matt Rogers will man the middle for the Coffee Mixers. He's the first choice of Tim Cone last conference but failed to meet the requirements till they saw crowd favorite Denzell Bowles bring them to glory. Rogers isn't as physical as Bowles but has better range than Bowle's 15 footers. I think SMC will again be a strong favorite to win it all this conference. I see them going below .500 ATS wise but that's because every other team has improved and they tend to play close games.
Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters
Team Mojo: A+
Last Conference: 12-2 SU | 6-8 ATS | 6-8 O/U
Outlook: People thought Talk N Text won't get any better as they are now but Al Hussaini's new found work ethic and a multi-titled coach in Norman Black, the Texters are even better than before. Not much to say about this team after being together for so long now and seem to always stay on top during the regular season. Their mission now is to follow up their Philippine Cup success with the Commisioner's Cup throphy.
They are going to field Kieth Benson who is a hard nosed defender and is great in shutting down the post. He isn't a terrific offensive player, which isn't a problem for TNT, but he has a jump hook that'll be tough to stop and can score anywhere in the 12-foot range. He'll be a perfect fit for the Texters who was exposed to have a weak post defense by the Aces. I see the Texters coasting in the regular season and pretty much covering more than 6 games thsi conference.