How do you bounce back from a loss like that?
Despite being armed with two 17 point leads from the first to third quarters, Rain or Shine allowed San Mig Coffee to stage a comeback to steal game one of in this best of five championship series.
Of course, the biggest storyline from this game would be what transpired during the final play between Marc Pingris and Paul Lee. We’ll get to that as we end this post later on, but first, let’s talk about the lead up to that controversial final play.
Playing to Each’s Strengths
As written in our series preview for ROS, it was expected that both teams will try to force the other out of their comfort zones (ROS to force SMC outside, SMC to force ROS inside). Well… it’s safe to say that both teams simply decided to pit their strengths against each other until someone comes out victorious.
Look at this split
|Total FGA||3PT FGA (%)||2PT FGA (%)|
|76||30 (39%)||46 (61%)|
|78||13 (17%)||65 (83%)|
ROS used some very hot shooting in the first half, putting in 9 out of their 11 makes within the first 24 minutes of the game. The Elasto Painters also pushed up the pace of the game, quickly attacking SMC’s defense as early in the shot clock as possible. The Mixers also seemed like they got “drunk” on ROS’ pace, electing to sustain the up-tempo game, which helped ROS get big leads during the early stages of the game.
In the second half, two things happened, First, the law of averages finally caught up to ROS as they started missing shots and second, SMC slowed the game down and slowly shifted the momentum in their favor. After a dismal first half, Marqus Blakely (7 of 8 free throws!!), PJ Simon and Marc Pingris got it going for SMC. And of course, who can forget…
The James Yap redemption tour continues.
With ROS clinging on to a small lead late in the fourth, Yap banked in a floater and hit a big three to push SMC ahead for good. Before that shot, SMC had made only one out of 12 attempts from beyond the arc and you could really sense that the team was overdue for another three.
14 points (1 of 3 from 3-point range, 4 of 7 from 2-point range), six rebounds, two assists and two of the biggest balls in this Governor’s Cup.
Of course, the blame for this loss squarely lies on the Elasto Painters. They had a big lead, but didn’t protect it and in the fourth, SMC missed three very crucial free throws and yet they couldn’t convert their shots to take advantage of the multiple opportunities.
ROS also gave up a number of crucial turnovers in the fourth when Coach Tim Cone stuck with the Barroca – Melton backcourt that was able to put a lot of pressure on ROS’ perimeter players and passing.
Now, to address the final play between Paul Lee and Mark Pingris.
My opinion on it is this:
- Did Mark Pingris violate the rule of verticality by jumping forward?
Yes. Pingris jumped forward to contest Lee’s shot after the latter stepped back to create space.
- Did Paul Lee initiate contact?
Yes. While it can be argued that the contact was part of Lee’s shooting action, I still feel that Lee leaned into Pingris a bit too much.
Like the old saying goes, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. And Lee’s decision to force the referees to make a decision cost ROS a chance to tie the game. The chances of him actually making a miracle shot over the wall that is Pingris are slim at best, but I would’ve appreciated seeing a ball traveling towards the general direction of the basket as compared to bodies slumped on the ground.
So What Now?
Well… the Elasto Painters played as well as they could in some stretches of this game and I am not sure if they have another hot shooting game like this in them. It would benefit them to focus more attention to stopping SMC’s incursions inside, but for the most part, I think ROS should still just continue to play their game and hope that the breaks bounce their way in the next game.