To be honest, I was quite confident Purefoods was gonna win this one. I was quite confident not unless PJ Ramos goes beast-mode against the Hotshots, not unless LA Revilla gets in the groove, and not unless Coach Manny Pacquiao plays and scores (I’m just kidding on that last one. But seriously, Manny Pacquiao scored! Yes, he did.).
For those who weren’t able to catch the game, let me tell you what happened. Yes, PJ Ramos went beast-mode against Purefoods’ frontline. And yes again, LA Revilla had a stellar performance, outplaying probably one of the best defenders in the league today in Mark Barroca.
As the game went on, quarter by quarter, play by play, my confidence in Purefoods beating KIA got slimmer and slimmer. KIA played tremendous basketball down the stretch. Displaying poise and confidence, hitting big shot after big shot as they brought down another giant. Yes, the KIA Carnival beat the Purefoods Star Hotshots, 95-84.
I still can’t believe what happened. KIA beats Purefoods. Another champion brought down by the Manny Pacquiao-led Carnival. Like what I said in my pregame — bilog and bola, lahat posible. PJ Ramos and LA Revilla made it possible. PJ Ramos finished with a game-high 32 points (59% shooting), 26 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks. LA Revilla on the other hand led the way for the locals of KIA with an impressive 18 points (60% shooting), 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals.
Now, let’s look at some stats and see how well Purefoods and KIA performed in this game by the numbers.
|TEAM||ASTS||TOs||TO PTS||PTS IN THE PAINT||2ND CHANCE PTS||FB POINTS|
Looking at the stats, you can already say that KIA prepared well for this game. They were able to disrupt Purefoods’ beautiful ball movement that only produced 13 dimes for the Hotshots. Also, they were able to force Purefoods into more turnovers that led into an 11-point advantage in terms of points off turnovers.
Another glaring stat is KIA’s advantage in terms of points in the paint. 52-26. The Carnival actually doubled the Hotshots’ production inside in this game, thanks to their monster import in PJ Ramos. Also, big credit goes to Daniel Orton’s lackluster performance in this game. There was a big hole in the middle for Purefoods as they failed to contain Ramos inside. Although at times they were able to stop him by swarming him with 4 to 5 guys inside, Ramos would eventually find his local teammate for an open shot and sometimes, it would result with him going to the charity stripe.
Lastly, KIA’s transition defense was on point against Purefoods, one of the league’s top fast breaking teams early in this conference (2nd with 11.8 fbpg). They were able to limit Purefoods to only 6 points in transition with them running down the floor for defense.
KIA actually did deserve to win this one. There’s no doubt about that. But what was Daniel Orton thinking?
Daniel “The Truth” Orton
“Manny Pacquiao playing in the PBA is a joke.” – Daniel Orton
Right after the game, there were news reports that came out regarding Daniel Orton’s thoughts on the game. He was visibly frustrated after finishing with only 6 points (14% shooting) and only 3 rebounds, getting outplayed by his KIA counterpart, PJ Ramos.
Actually, what he said was already said by many people even before Manny Pacquiao played in an actual PBA game. It’s just that his comments, in my opinion, weren’t necessary and we’re irrelevant.
Looking at the stats, they lost to KIA because he wasn’t aggressive enough to hold the fort inside. It’s not because of the officiating and all that he’s saying. It’s actually because of him. Because of his failure to deliver what was asked of him by Coach Tim Cone.
If Orton was disappointing in the court against KIA, he was even more disappointing off the court after making those comments. It’s highly uncharacteristic for an import of Purefoods to have this kind of attitude. No wonder many fans were furious at him and started to demand to bring Marqus Blakely back.
Bacause of this, all eyes will be on Daniel Orton in their next game against Ginebra. It is what he’ll do in that game that will decide his fate in the PBA. Will he stay or will he go?
*James Yap missed this game because of a knee injury. There are still no reports if he will be able to play against Ginebra this Sunday for this conference’s edition of Manila Clasico.
*After blowing past Allein Maliksi, playing Coach Manny Pacquiao was fouled and trooped to the free throw line. He split his free throws, scoring his first point in the PBA! Congrats Coach Manny! Haha! Now, we wait again as he searches for his first-ever field goal in the PBA. Will it be during the PBA All-Star weekend?
*Aside from PJ Ramos and LA Revilla, another player who did the damage for KIA was Eliud Poligrates (15 points). Looks like this fancy player from Cebu has finally found a home in KIA.
Looking Ahead: Manila Clasico!
The Hotshots have a few days to recover from their back-to-back setbacks. They must be able to regroup well as they’ll be facing Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in their next game. As said earlier, all eyes will be on Daniel Orton. Will we see a different kind of Orton against Ginebra? Let’s see.