It always occurred to us how – compared to the NBA – the PBA conferences seem so slow.
Naturally, that makes sense, as the seasons are more or less the same length, but with its three-tournament format and 11-game “regular season” for each leg, many clubs in the Philippine Basketball Association only play 33 games across about seven months.
Even if a given team were to win each conference tournament round going the full distance, that would only add about 36-40 more games to the schedule. In those rare cases, a PBA club might play nearly as many games as an NBA team does during the NBA regular season.
Of course, we’re not complaining.
As bettors, sure, we’d like to see more action. Who wouldn’t?
But as Philippine basketball fans, it’s actually nice to experience a more relaxed pace. We don’t have time to watch the Hotshots or the Beermen every single night, and we think it’s pretty cool that the players get meaningful breaks, too.
The PBA’s general pace (even in non-COVID years) also has another benefit: We can go AFK for a few weeks and not miss much!
Because of various projects here at LOC, we’ve had to put some things on the backburner a bit. And now that we’re just about finished with the tasks at hand and have arrived back home, it’s almost a relief to see that the games are still ongoing.
Yes, we missed the end of the elimination round and all of the quarterfinals, but with both semifinal series sitting at 2-1, we’re going to be able to settle in for the championship.
And, of course, we’re going to bet on it.
If you haven’t been following developments, the 2021-2022 PBA Governors’ Cup elimination round ended with these final standings (teams in bold advanced to the quarterfinals):
- Magnolia Hotshots 9-2
- NLEX Road Warriors 8-3
- TNT Tropang Giga 7-4
- Meralco Bolts 7-4
- San Miguel Beermen 7-4
- Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 6-5
- Alaska Aces 6-5
- Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters 5-6*
- NorthPort Batang Pier 5-6
- Rain or Shine Elasto Painters 3-8
- Terrafirma Dyip 2-9
- Blackwater Bossing 1-10
*The Fuel Masters defeated NorthPort Batang Pier 101-98 in a one-game playoff for the eight-seed going into the quarters.
Here’s how the 2021-2022 PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals played out:
- Magnolia Hotshots (1) def. Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (8) in one game (twice-to-beat) to advance to semis
- Meralco Bolts (4) def. San Miguel Beermen (5) in one game (twice-to-beat) to advance to semis
- NLEX Road Warriors (2) def. Alaska Aces (7) in two games (twice-to-beat) to advance to semis
- Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (6) def. TNT Tropang Giga (3) in two games (twice-to-beat) to advance to semis
As you can see, the higher seeded team advanced in three of the four series, with the sole upset coming when Barangay Ginebra San Miguel swept heavy favorite TNT Tropang Giga to make it to the semifinals.
We’re actually glad we were on the road for that last one, because had we wagered (and we certainly could have, since BetOnline Sportsbook can be legally accessed from the Philippines and from the United States – but, you know, jetlag and meetings…), we’d have lost our hat.
And hats aren’t cheap these days.
2021-2022 PBA Governors’ Cup Semifinals Odds
NLEX Road Warriors vs. Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Odds – Game 4
- Moneyline: Road Warriors +134, San Miguel -154
- Spread: San Miguel -3.5 points
- Total: 191.5 points
As the tournament six-seed, San Miguel is nevertheless favored to win game 4. The team beat the overwhelmingly favored two-seed Road Warriors in Game 1 by a score of 95-86, and they beat them again in Game 2 by a similar margin, 104 to 94.
In Game 3, the Road Warriors eked out a win, 86-85. While they have a tiny bit of momentum after staving off the sweep, San Miguel’s margins of victory are going to sink NLEX.
Here, though, we’d take San Miguel on the spread and not straight up. The payout is better, and they ought to win by double digits.
Meralco Bolts vs. Magnolia Hotshots Odds – Game 4
- Moneyline: Bolts +160, Hotshots -185
- Spread: Hotshots -4.5 points
- Total: 188.5 points
Top top-seed Hotshots remain the team to beat, and they made easy work of the four-seed Bolts in Game 1. However, they dropped the next two games by final scores of 81-75 and 101-95.
Still, we don’t see the best team of the elimination round losing three straight to flop out of the tournament. They should even the series tomorrow.
For this contest, however, we’re going to take the Bolts at +4.5. We think Magnolia wins, but we think they win by four or less. Easy money.
In other news, the Philippine Presidential election is inching ever closer to Election Day on Monday, May 9. However, things haven’t changed that much on the odds boards.
And that’s to be expected.
While the Russia-Ukraine crisis has altered the odds of various western politicos to some degree or another, Asian countries – and particularly Southeast Asian countries – aren’t seeing to many outward conflicts of governance arise from the event.
Here are the current Philippine Election odds via BetOnline AG, with each line’s previous odds in parentheses:
2022 Philippine Presidential Election Odds
Manny Pacquiao for Philippine President?
- No -5000 (-5000)
- Yes +1200 (+1200)
We’re afraid old Manny might not even have a puncher’s chance at this point. Maybe he’ll go back to the ring…
Philippine Presidential Election Winner
- Bongbong Marcos -800 (-600)
- Leni Robredo +450 (+350)
- Manny Pacquiao +1200 (+1200)
- Isko Moreno +3300 (+2000)
- Sara Duterte-Carpio +10000 (+10000)
- Bong Go +12500 (+10000)
- Alan Peter Cayetano +15000 (+15000)
- Antonio Trillanes +15000 (+15000)
After falling – inexplicably – to just -400 for a brief time in early February from his high of -1200, frontrunner Bongbong Marcos is currently back up to -800 (though this happened before the European unpleasantness alluded to above).
Note: For those not following the election, Mayor Sara’s odds to win President are so long because she’s not even running for President. She’s running for Vice President. And in that race, she’s the overwhelming favorite. In fact, she’s such a big favorite that even BetOnline isn’t bothering with odds on the 2022 Philippine Vice Presidential race.
The final bit of Philippine gambling news this week has to do with the upcoming election in a more roundabout way.
See, one of the main issues in the Philippines – at least, one of the main gambling-related issues in the Philippines – is that of regulated, state-licensed online cockfighting, or e-sabong.
We discussed a few of the reasons why many politicians and communities are calling for the practice to stop, and another ugly incident has just arisen that will no doubt raise the volume of e-sabong opposition even more.
Apparently, an unfathomably degenerate gambling addict sold her 9-month old daughter to sex traffickers in order to pay off an e-sabong debt of PHP 45,000 (US $863).
While two of the four buyers have now been caught, the story made national and international news, and many viewers are quick to sympathize with the seller and vilify the sabong pastime. Especially since, in most of the West, sabong isn’t viewed favorably to begin with.
In other words, this isn’t just a terrible tragedy, it’s also terrible for sabong’s global reputation at a particularly vulnerable time.
Count us among the few who think the only offender here is the woman on the front page and her coconspirators in the illicit “transaction.”
Fortunately, the child has been returned to her father, and charges are pending against the mother.
Ugh. You know what? We’re changing the channel back to basketball…