Rain or Shine has two chances to beat Globalport and move on to the semi-finals, but in my opinion, they only need one. The Elasto Painters haven’t been playing their best basketball at all this conference, but if there’s a time to start playing up to their potential, it’s here in the quarterfinals.
In their solitary meeting this conference, Rain or Shine blew Globalport out of the water, 94-74 thanks to a career game from Ryan Arana (21 points). The Batang Pier shot just 31.7% from the field, while they also shot themselves in the foot by making only 51.5% of their freebies from the line.
Coming into the playoff match-up, what does Rain or Shine have to do to barge into the semi-finals? Let’s check out our keys to the game:
Washington has been playing well for Globalport this conference, averaging per game. However, these numbers come with a shooting percentage uses up a lot of his team’s possessions. If you ask me, I’d rather let Washington take midrange jumpers all game long versus David threes, Sol drives and Cummings “I can score from anywhere”. In this game, Rain or Shine would benefit from sagging a bit off Washington, funnelling the offense through him and take it from there.
Face to Face
I never understood why, but despite having a point guard in Sol Mercado that is unmatched when it comes to having a combination of size and speed, Coach Junel Baculi chooses not to utilize him in pick and rolls that could better take advantage of his strengths. Instead, the Globalport system relies on constant prodding and ankle breaking by Mercado to get in the lane and force the defense to collapse. Whoever Coach Yeng decides to match-up against Mercado should do a good job of staying in front of the Sol Train because doing so will automatically shut down the Batang Pier offense.
No more excuses. Beau Belga, Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood can’t continue to average five, seven and five points respectively. Fine, maybe I’ll be fine with Norwood not scoring as long as he contributes in all the other areas of the game. If Rain or Shine wants to put Globalport away in one game, the local players will have to play up to their potential.
No way Coach Yeng doesn’t get his team prepared and ready for this game. Look for Rain or Shine to officially send Globalport off to vacation after this game.