It seems that Rain or Shine actually wants to get out-rebounded this conference. Despite losing the battle of the boards yet again, the Elasto Painters used a frantic offensive showing (PAUL LEE!!!) to take down Barangay Ginebra in Binan, Laguna and move one step closer to stealing a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.
Quite a few things to talk about in this game, so let’s start with a review of our keys to the game:
Both Greg Slaughter (8 of 14) and Z Mason (5 of 17) were able to get a considerable amount of touches in the post, but Rain or Shine actually was able to reduce the effect of these touches by a lot in this game. The Elasto Painters used their very aggressive defense to force Ginebra into a lot of turnovers from all over the court. Along the perimeter, Rain or Shine gambled just enough to pick off a handful of passes hound the perimeter and if the ball found its way inside, multiple Painters will slap and swipe at it until a foul gets called or they come up with the basketball.
Rain or Shine clearly took a risk on the defensive end in this one and at least for this game, it paid off beautifully for them. The team committed a total of 29 fouls, but also stole the ball eight times, forced the Gin Kings to 21 turnovers, which led to 23 turnover points with a lot of those coming from their 16 fastbreak attempts.
Man the Interior
The Elasto Painters lost the rebounding battle 50-37, but their current three game winning streak doesn’t lie. Not complaining anymore.
There are players who dream about playing for Ginebra, and then there are players like Paul Lee. The angas ng Tondo once again played well against the country’s favorite team as he tallied 24 points (3 of 5 from three, 7 of 9 from two), 3 rebounds, 2 assist and one steal. He spearheaded a game breaking 30 point Rain or Shine third quarter with 12 big points.
I admit, there are games when Paul Lee really looks like his head is not in the game, but that’s almost always never the case against Ginebra.
Rain or Shine didn’t try to actively deny Slaughter touches in the post in this game. Instead, they made it a point to make it really hard for him to get good post position. Whenever Slaughter will move near one of his teammates, the defender of those teammates will automatically leave their man and bump Slaughter It didn’t look like much, but Greg really had a hard time getting good post positioning because of this. It’s either he didn’t get there at all, or the shot clock was already dangerously low when he got the ball. In the end, the physicality really got to Slaughter as he settled for mid-range jumpers for the most part of this game.
Coach Yeng really knew how to take advantage of Ginebra’s lineup. Slaughter, Tenorio and Caguioa may be elite offensive players, but they do have some issues when it comes to their foot speed on defense. Not surprisingly, Rain or Shine ran a lot of pick and rolls in this one, with Belga and Cruz repeatedly finding themselves open rolling into the lane.
Up next for Rain or Shine would be a date vs. the resurgent Meralco Bolts.