Marcus Douthit carried the Elite as he played the entire 48 minutes for a 34-point, 20-rebound performance.
1. Foul trouble once again hounded the Painters. They were in penalty early in three out of the four periods, resulting to Blackwater trooping to the line 33 times. Chism himself collected three fouls in the first six minutes of the game, prompting Coach Yeng Guiao to take him out. This allowed Douthit to easily dominate and give the Elite some advantage. Rain or Shine gained their momentum and stole the lead upon Chism’s return as his presence gave ROS the spacing it needed to better facilitate their offense.
2. ROS made 11 triples in the game and everybody knows that they’re a dangerous team when they’re hitting their outside shots. Chism hit three of those eleven (Lee and Tiu with two each), and this forced Douthit to step out of the shaded area and in turn, opened the lane for the Painters. Blackwater made 6-of-18 from downtown, five of which were courtesy of Val Acuna who finished with a career-high of 20 points.
3. Fifty-four percent of Rain or Shine’s field goals resulted from assists, with Chism and Lee leading the pack in dishing dimes with four apiece. Their passing were particularly on point in the third quarter, where they were able to pull away and establish a 15-point lead. Some of the highlights of that third frame surge include the Jeff Chan to Gabe Norwood alley-oop slam and Belga’s outlet pass to Chism who touch passed to TY Tang for an easy two. ROS ran at every opportunity and made a living off it, scoring 26 fastbreak points against only 10 of the Elite.
4. Another problem that continues to haunt the Elasto Painters is their offensive rebounding. They only managed to grab seven offensive boards (only 15% of the available offensive boards they could have grabbed) and scored two second chance points. Blackwater grabbed 14 and converted twelve points in comparison.
5. It’s good to see Rain or Shine’s injured players, namely Jeric Teng and Jericho Cruz back on the floor. While Teng still needs to regain his confidence after being sidelined for a long time, Cruz’s aggressiveness was immediately felt as he attacked the basket and fought for loose balls. He contributed four points, three rebounds, an assist, and a steal in his first 10 minutes back. He’s definitely a welcome addition to the Painters’ lineup heading into the playoffs.
Rain or Shine needs to win against Kia to be able to secure the top spot. Even if they figure in a three-way tie for first, ROS will still get the number one seed due to superior quotient over Purefoods and Talk ‘N Text. On the other hand, if they lose, they also lose the chance to get one of the top two slots due to inferior quotient in case of ties with: a) TNT; b) TNT and Meralco; c) TNT and NLEX; or d) TNT, MER, and NLEX. #CrazyQuotientSystem, don’t you think?
Featured image courtesy of Nuki Sabio, PBA Image