Though the Hotshots were able to lead by as much as 14 points in the first half – no thanks to the free throws that the Painters gave away – ROS always found ways to make counter-runs that kept the game at bay. The half ended with Rain or Shine only trailing by two points.
Paul Lee, who celebrated his birthday on that Valentine’s game day, once again topscored for the Elasto Painters with 18 points (albeit on a poor 6-of-21 shooting), eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Rick Jackson contributed 12 markers and 15 boards, while Gilas players Jeff Chan and Beau Belga also finished in double digits with 12 and 10 points respectively. The Hotshots, on the other hand, were led by Daniel Orton who had an impressive 23-point, 23-rebound, seven-block outing.
1. Before this game, both teams have been assisting more than 60% of their field goals, good for top two in the league. In this match, Rain or Shine moved the ball significantly better than their opponent.
It was a team effort with Belga and Jon Uyloan leading the pack dishing five and three dimes respectively. ROS was able to feed Jackson down low better in the second half, where the import scored ten of his 12 points. Case in point: these two lovely passes from Big Beau (the second one happening at a crucial part in the 4th Q).
2. Outside sniping started the third quarter rally of Rain or Shine – one from Chan and a couple from Lee, with Uyloan joining the party later on. Purefoods (in typical Purefoods fashion) threatened to make a comeback late in the fourth, but Belga stopped them on their tracks with a dagger shot clock-beating triple. The Elasto Painters drained eleven three-pointers, against only three by the Hotshots.
3. If it isn’t clear by now, yes, Beau Belga has been pivotal in this game. It’s more than the ten points, four rebounds, and five assists seen across his number on the stat sheet. It’s the way he limited Orton from doing more damage in the second half.
4. Chris Tiu was effective as floor general in this match, no wonder Coach Yeng Guiao gave him more minutes than usual.
5. Not to be lost in this victory are Gabe Norwood‘s clutch offensive boards that gave second opportunities for ROS at crunch time and milked the clock.
Featured image courtesy of Paolo Papa, AKTV.