Ranking the possible 2017 Governors' Cup Finals pairings
Paul Lintag on Oct 04, 2017 03:25 PM
A Governors' Cup Finals rematch between Ginebra and Meralco is best for business for the PBA. Why you ask? Two words: The Shot.
The 2017 Governors' Cup semifinals is starting to take shape, and from the looks of it, things might be over earlier than expected.
That means, the Finals will have an earlier start that usual.
Before that happens though, let's take time to rank all possible Finals matchups because that's always fun. Okay, here we go.
1. Ginebra vs. Meralco
Two words: The Shot.
A rematch from the 2016 Governors' Cup Finals is the best way to go, simply because there's unfinished business here and both teams seem to genuinely despise each other.
Of course, the defending champion Gin Kings remain as the favorites here as all key members returned from last year led by import Justin Brownlee.
A big factor, literally, is the return of Greg Slaughter, whose mere presence makes Ginebra the team that has the best frontline in the league.
On the other hand, the Bolts have been plotting all year long for this one shot at redemption.
No offense to Jimmy Alapag but Meralco now has a better guard rotation with the team trading for Mike Tolomia and Baser Amer taking the next step towards his superstardom.
All the key pieces are there too and they all look better than ever. Allen Durham somehow found a way to be even more dominant and Chris Newsome is now a more consistent all-around threat.
Jared Dillinger is also back in harness (he missed last year's Finals) and is steady as ever while Ranidel De Ocampo, acquired in trade for the sole purpose of getting over that playoff hump, is adjusting quite nicely.
If this rematch were to happen, it might be better than last year. And last year was an instant classic.
2. Meralco vs. TNT
Basically all the elements from the first series but add more emotion. Emotion that's not exactly hate.
If this series takes place, it should be awkward at first. After all, some of the Bolts' key pieces, including their head coach, came from TNT.
It's barely been a month since TNT traded Ranidel De Ocampo. Jared Dillinger was drafted no. 2 overall by TNT and he won multiple championships with the team.
Assistant coach Jimmy Alapag has his jersey number retired with TNT and coach Norman Black's return to the PBA after his Ateneo dynasty in the UAAP was with the then Tropang Texters.
Jayson Castro, Kelly Williams, and Ryan Reyes are the only members of the old TNT dynasty that still see actual minutes for the KaTropa currently. It's like a reunion of that old team but with new stars like Amer, Newsome, RR Pogoy, and Troy Rosario ready to break out.
If this series takes place, all games are guaranteed to be emotional and close. Also, it would serve as a final tiebreaker between the two MVP teams.
In the 2016 Governors' Cup semis, the Bolts took a 3-1 decision over the KaTropa to make the Finals. In the 2017 Commissioner's Cup, TNT won a 2-1 quarterfinal series over Meralco to make the semis and Finals.
Those previous two matchups were yes, emotional and close. Now, imagine a tiebreaker with a title on the line.
3. Ginebra vs. Star
Manila Clasico fans were spoiled this season, as both teams have already played each other ten times.
However, Ginebra has dominated the rivalry so far, winning seven of those games.
At least for this season, the Gin Kings have proven that they are indeed the better team. And if this were to happen, it might be a repeat of the 2017 Philippine Cup semifinals where Ginebra won in seven games without ever leading the series.
That was a close one, but with the way the Gin Kings are built right now and the way Star is playing, a Manila Clasico Finals might not live up to expectations.
4. TNT vs. Star
Again, take all the elements of Manila Clasico and tone them down a little bit.
Actually, tone them down a lot.
As of right now, this rivalry is dead. Simple as that. Also, both teams might not even get out of the semifinals.
TNT is consistently inconsistent, and Star is hurting and has no offense.
Sure, both teams are more than capable of rallying and making the championship round but with all the possible Finals pairings, a matchup between the KaTropa and the Hotshots is the least enticing.
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