It was a match-up that featured two of the hottest teams in the league, the Purefoods Star Hotshots and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. The game was expected to be a tight battle and the Hotshots and the Elasto Painters did not disappoint.
Playing in front of a jam-packed Smart-Araneta Coliseum, Purefoods was off to a great start. With great execution and some sorry misses from Rain or Shine, they were able to take control of the game for most part of the 1st half. However, when the Elasto Painters finally got their groove, a couple of threes gave them the advantage and changed the complexion of the game.
Purefoods was forced to play catch-up basketball for most of the 2nd half. The closest they got at 3 points, 75-72, entering the final minutes of the game after a 3-point play by Alex Mallari. But Rain or Shine proved to be the steadier team that night dousing that furious Hotshots rally with timely baskets and hustle plays down the stretch.
With this loss, Purefoods’ winning streak ends at 4 (dropping to 5-4 in the team standings while Rain or Shine on the other hand extends their winning run at 5 games for a 7-2 W/L record.
WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS
In this game, Rain or Shine once mode displayed how lethal their offense can be. Despite missing 3 bench players due to injuries (and Jeff Chan as well), the Elasto Painters still outscored the Hotshots’ bench, 44-34. The Elasto Painters’ bench were led unexpectedly, by Jonathan Uyloan and TY Tang.
Uyloan and Tang made life miserable for Purefoods in this game with their defense as well as some big shots during the 4th quarter. Uyloan scored 9 points on 3 makes from beyond the arc (maybe a couple of feet behind the arc). He also added 4 assists and a whopping 6 steals as well. TY Tang on the other hand cbipped in 11 points, 4 rebounds and an assist in 23 minutes of action.
|TOs||TO PTS||FB PTS||2ND CH PTS|
Aside from Rain or Shine’s steadier bench play, one more thing that led to Purefoods’ downfall in this game are their turnovers. The Hotshots committed a total of 18 turnovers in this game compared to the Elasto Painters’ 10. This resulted into more turnover points and more fast break opportunities and points for Rain or Shine.
It is a grave mistake to turn the ball over against Rain or Shine as they will run and gun and leave their opponents in the dust. Just like in this game. Rain or Shine was able to dictate the pace of the game and used it to their advantage. I guess Purefoods have now learned their lesson to take better care of the ball against run-and-gun teams like ROS. But they had to learn it the hard way.
POINT GUARD BATTLE: PAUL LEE VS. MARK BARROCA
|Paul Lee||18 points (5/16 fg)||5 ast||4 rebs|
|Mark Barroca||8 points (3/13 fg)||1 ast||5 rebs|
In a battle of two of (arguably) the best point guards in the league today, it was Paul Lee who had the last laugh in his match-up against Mark Barroca. Paul Lee had a game-high 18 points to lead Rain or Shine to another win. On the other hand, it was a quiet night for Mark Barroca as he was only able to finish with 8 points on 3 of 13 makes from the field.
BIG 3: STILL WAITING
James Yap, PJ Simon, and Marc Pingris struggled yet again in this match-up. Although James Yap had 11 points in this game, most of his points came in the 1st half and then come the 2nd half, he was cold as ice. On the other hand, PJ Simon and Marc Pingris seemed to be out of focus last stringing a combined 6 turnovers across their name. Purefoods’ fans have been waiting for the three to explode all at the same time this conference. After last night’s game, they’re still waiting for it to happen.
RISING TO THE OCCASION
With the recent struggles of Purefoods’ Big 3, there’s one man on the Hotshots’ bench that’s been stepping up for the team, Alex Mallari. His aggressiveness in their last 2 games have been a huge boost for the team off the bench. If he continues this type of performance game in and game out, the future’s looking good for Purefoods.
Up next for Purefoods is another tough team that’s loaded with scorers in the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters. The Hotshots have 2 days to prepare and recover for them to get back on the winning track and gain momentum as the playoffs is now just 2 games away for them.
Featured Image Credit: Jaime Campos, Spin.PH (Edit: MI.NI)