It’s really been a while (wait, maybe never actually), since Rain or Shine went into a match-up against the Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters feeling pretty good about their chances. The Texters come into this game in less than ideal circumstances. Their original import, Othyus Jeffers, has failed to get clearance from the NBA and thus cannot continue to reinforce TNT this conference. After playing all-Filipino in Monday’s loss vs. Alaska, the team is not bringing in NBA veteran Rodney Carney to replace Jeffers.
The Elasto Painters are coming into this one after a dominating win over the Globalport Batang Pier to give them their first win of the conference. Their offense finally broke out of its slump (due to both their own doing and Globalport’s nonexistent defense.) This game presents a perfect opportunity for Coach Yeng and his boys to start climbing up the standings after a poor start to the conference.
Talk N’ Text may be vulnerable in this one, but we all know how dangerous this team still is. What should Rain or Shine do to take advantage of this situation? Let’s check out the keys to the game.
A Warm Welcome
Rodney Carney has been a journeyman after playing six seasons in the NBA. After his final season with Memphis, Carney has seen action in China, Turkey, Puerto Rico and Lebanon. He was never an explosive scorer in the NBA, but did shoot 34% for his career, making him suitable for Coach Black’s 3pt heavy system. Since he will be joining the team with only one, if not zero practices with the team and will probably not have a firm grasp of the teams systems and principles on both ends of the court. I’m not sure how TNT will incorporate Carney in this game, but chances are Coach Norman will run a watered down version of his offense.
Regardless of what the Texters run, expect Carney to focus on being aggressive since that by default should be a positive for his team. The Rain or Shine defense should then make sure that Carney gets a proper PBA welcome. Everyone talks about the PBA being a very physical league and giving Carney no quarter when it comes to PBA fouls (especially from Beau Belga) could rattle and take the import out of his game.
Talk N’ Text initiates almost all their offensive sets with a pick from a big toward the point guard whether at the top of the arc or on the wings. This action puts into motion the Texters’ offense that features deadly shooters in four if not all five positions on the court at all times. The simplest way of slowing down the TNT attack is to create some havoc on that initial pick and roll.
Rain or Shine’s defensive principle on pick and rolls is to have the screener’s defender hedge and then immediately recover back to his man. In this game, Coach Yeng should look to mix up his coverage by adding traps and switches along the way, just to give TNT different looks that could delay their offense. It would be best if the bigger ROS guards like Norwood and Chan handle primary point guard defensive duties as their size and length will help bother the TNT playmakers.
This is a rare chance for Rain or Shine to face a Talk N’ Text team that’s coming into this game with an inherent disadvantage. It won’t be easy, but Rain or Shine should be able to pull this one out while TNT picks up the pieces.