After a week and six playdates in the season-ending PBA Governors' Cup, early leaders have emerged while the defending champions are still resting on their laurels after conquering the Commissioner's Cup.
ESPN's Sid Ventura ranks all 12 teams following the first week of action.
1. CONVERGE FIBERXERS (3-0)
It was an eventful and fulfilling Week 1 for the FiberXers, who swept all their games to take the early lead in the standings. After blowing out Blackwater Bossing and Terrafirma Dyip, they nearly fell to 2-1 following a tight 111-109 win over Magnolia Hotshots. Import Jamaal Franklin, who replaced Ethan Rusbatch after just one game, is proving that the coaches made the right decision to bring him in as he's been averaging 34.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists.
Up next: Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (Feb. 2)
2. BARANGAY GINEBRA (0-0)
The Barangay are still on a break after winning the Commissioner's Cup just two weeks ago, but it seems apt to slot them into second spot given their fine form last conference and the fact that they're the defending champions. There's no reason to believe that they're not the favorites to repeat. They would have taken over the top spot were it not for Converge's impressive run.
Up next: Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (Feb. 5)
3. NLEX ROAD WARRIORS (2-0)
Jonathon Simmons may not be around for much longer, but so far he's been making the most of his PBA stint. The NBA veteran will likely last only four games for the Road Warriors as he's being lured back to China, and NLEX is hoping he can continue giving them a clean slate until he leaves. In two games so far, Simmons is averaging 32.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists. Meanwhile, Kevin Alas has been shooting the lights out, averaging 24.5ppg on 63% FG shooting as the Road Warriors are putting up 122.5 points per outing.
Up next: TNT Tropang Giga (Feb. 1), Phoenix Super LPG (Feb. 4)
4. TNT TROPANG GIGA (2-0)
The Tropang Giga may be undefeated, but both their wins in Week 1 were struggles against two undefeated teams. They even fell behind by 18 to Rain or Shine before rallying in the second half for a five-point win. Jalen Hudson (29.0ppg) and RR Pogoy (21.5) have been lighting it up, while Mikey Williams has come off the bench to chip in 16.5. Interim coach Jojo Lastimosa has hinted at reinserting Williams into the starting lineup once he's 100% healthy, and when that happens the Tropang Giga might have the highest scoring starting five in the league.
Up next: NLEX Road Warriors (Feb. 1), Magnolia Hotshots (Feb. 3)
5. MERALCO BOLTS (2-1)
The Bolts blew a chance to be the first team to go 3-0 after they suffered a shock 96-88 loss to the Terrafirma Dyip. Still, there are encouraging signs for Meralco. Chris Newsome is finally back in harness and is putting up 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game. KJ McDaniels leads all players in rebounds per game (29.3), while the Bolts are tops in team rebounding with a whopping 58.3 average, around 14 boards better than the second-placer.
Up next: Blackwater Bossing (Feb. 4)
6. SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN (1-0)
The Beermen had to weather a huge Phoenix uprising but ultimately won comfortably in their lone Week 1 game. They will be without Vic Manuel, Terrence Romeo and Robbie Herndon for the next few weeks but may have found a gem in Allyn Bulanadi, whom they got from NorthPort Batang Pier in the Paul Zamar trade. In his first game as a Beerman, Bulanadi had 16 points in 18 minutes off the bench, serving as the perfect complement to June Mar Fajardo, who kicked off the homestretch of his quest for a 7th MVP with a JMF-esque 19-13 output.
Up next: Blackwater Bossing (Feb. 1), Terrafirma Dyip (Feb. 3)
7. TERRAFIRMA DYIP (1-1)
After the Dyip lost by 15 to Converge in their first game, it looked like they were simply picking up where they left off in the Commissioner's Cup where they went 1-12. But credit to them, they bounced back by handing the Bolts their first loss as Juami Tiongson knocked down a career-high 30. Jordan Williams is showing he can be an explosive scorer with a points-per-game average of 36.5, including 46 in his PBA debut. The Dyip are shooting 41.9% from beyond the arc, second-best in the league behind the Tropang Giga.
Up next: San Miguel Beermen (Feb. 3)
8. BLACKWATER BOSSING (1-1)
Like the Dyip, the Bossing opened the conference with a deflating loss, a 22-point beatdown at the hands of the Road Warriors. And like the Dyip, they put that loss behind them and hacked out a win in their next game. The Bossing are still missing Troy Rosario, but Baser Amer is back and contributing right away with 15.0ppg. Veteran JVee Casio is also back from injury, while Yousef Taha (11.5ppg, 9.5rpg) has been a pleasant surprise. And Ato Ular, who leads all comers in the statistical race for Rookie of the Year, is putting up a nice 14-11 stat line.
Up next: San Miguel Beermen (Feb. 1), Meralco Bolts (Feb. 4)
9. MAGNOLIA HOTSHOTS (0-1)
The Hotshots came close to pulling off an improbable comeback against the FiberXers, rallying from 14 points down late in the fourth period before ultimately falling short by two after Erik McCree's triple misfired in the dying seconds. McCree had 38 points and 16 boards in his conference debut, and he'll need to continue producing those numbers in Week 2 with Magnolia facing heavyweights TNT and SMB.
Up next: TNT Tropang Giga (Feb. 3), San Miguel Beermen (Feb. 5)
10. RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS (0-2)
After the Elasto Painters got blown out by the Bolts by 18 on opening day, coach Yeng Guiao called out import Michael Qualls, whom he said got frustrated early and went on to shoot a horrendous 3-for-22 from the field. Qualls bounced back in their next game, scoring 35 points, but Rain or Shine coughed up an 18-point lead against TNT to drop their second straight. Scoring is still a problem for the Elasto Painters; they're averaging a league-low 93.5ppg and shooting a league-worst 37% from the field, and aside from Qualls only Rey Nambatac (19.0ppg), Gian Mamuyac and Anton Asistio (both at 10.0ppg) are hitting double digits every game.
Up next: Converge FiberXers (Feb. 2), Barangay Ginebra (Feb. 5)
11. PHOENIX SUPER LPG (0-3)
The Fuel Masters nearly pulled the rug from under the Tropang Giga in their first game, indicating that they would be competitive this conference. But it's been all downhill after that as they dropped a close one to Blackwater then got blown out of the water by the Beermen in a game where they trailed by as many as 33. Phoenix did show some fight against SMB, coming to within nine late, but they ran out of gas. On a bright note, rookies Encho Serrano and Tyler Tio continue to play at a high level.
Up next: NorthPort Batang Pier (Feb. 2), NLEX Road Warriors (Feb. 4)
12. NORTHPORT BATANG PIER (0-3)
A coaching change hasn't resulted in any wins yet for the Batang Pier, who remain without top gun Robert Bolick as they continue to discuss a contract extension. NorthPort is last in rebounding (31.3) and is getting outscored by a league-worst 14.7 points per game. New recruit Joshua Munzon still hasn't found his offensive rhythm as he's averaging just 9.0ppg and shooting a dismal 28.9% from the field.
Up next: Phoenix Super LPG (Feb. 2)