They have already faced each other numerous times in the Finals over the last few seasons. Again, they will go head-to-head in a battle for position as the 2015 Governor’s Cup Playoffs draws near. Both teams are also looking to stay hot and on top with the STAR Hotshots (3-4) gunning for their third win in a row while the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters looking to snatch their 4th straight W.
With Rain or Shine slowly getting their form back after a woeful 1-4 start, The Hotshots would have to grind out this game if they want to come out with a win. They have to be extra resourceful in this game as the Elasto Painters are already very familiar with the game of Marqus Blakely. Just like in their previous game against Ginebra, someone must be willing to step up and provide support to their import. What makes Rain or Shine extra dangerous is the fact that they can win even with Paul Lee, their main guy, not scoring that much. Coach Yeng’s system is built on the philosophy that anybody can contribute at any given time for ROS, emphasizing ball and player movement (ROS 1st in AST%: 59.6). With that, the STAR Hotshots have gotta work extra hard defensively in this game. Not to mention they’ve got an import that averages 27.9 points, 14.4 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.
Also, STAR must be extra cautious with their turnovers in this game. Currently they are leading the league with a 17.1 TOV% and they can’t afford to commit this many errors against a team like Rain or Shine. The Elasto Painters are one of the fastest teams in the league and they could quickly convert these turnovers by the Hotshots into points of their own. If ROS would be able to dictate the pace of the ball game, this could very well be over early for STAR.
An interesting match-up to look out for is the battle between two Gilas point guards, Mark Barroca (Gilas I) and Paul Lee (Gilas II). Both players are doing something different for their respective ball clubs and it will be exciting once both players are on the floor at the same time. If you put Mark Barroca’s grit against Paul Lee’s toughness, it’s a toss-up.
As for this game, I’m pretty much optimistic about the Hotshots’ chances of stopping the three-game run by the Elasto Painters. The biggest key to their victory in this one would be their consistency. If they could be consistent on their execution and most especially on their defensive intensity for 48 minutes, that 4th win would be money in the bag for STAR.
TV: LIVE ON TV5 AND AKSYONTV
RADIO: RADYO 92.3 NEWS FM AND DZSR 918 KHZ AM
TIME: 5:15 PM
ARENA: SMART-ARANETA COLISEUM
Featured Image Credit: Glenn Michael Tan, PhilippineSports.Net; Sports.Inquirer.Net (Edited by: MI.NI Graphics and Design)