In an absence of a boxscore at the time of this writing, we’ll be doing this postgame analysis based solely on the eye test from watching last night’s game.
Despite a struggling Carney (can’t blame him since he just arrived in the country Wednesday morning), Rain or Shine still fell 83-81 to a Talk N’ Text team who went all-Filipino for most of the 2nd half. With the teams trading leads in the first three quarters, locals Alapag, Fonacier and Canaleta came alive in the final frame, bombing the Elasto Painters with threes to take over the game and hold on for the victory.
Let’s review our keys to the game.
A Warm Welcome
It’s amazing what jetlag and fatigue can do to a person huh?
Carney finished with 13 points in limited minutes and was clearly out of sync in this one. He opened the game with an airball from the wing and hit the floor twice (on a scramble with Paul Lee and after getting hit by a Norwood screen) in the first three minutes of the game. Not the PBA welcome I wanted, but I’m sure he’ll get a taste of some real physicality soon enough.
With Carney used to playing out in the perimeter and using his athleticism to get from outside to inside, Coach Yeng rotated Norwood, Ibanez and Arana to defend the TNT import. It was really great to see how all three gave Carney defended Carney differently:
- Ibanez: Spent the least time guarding Carney, was his usual pesky and physical self.
- Norwood: Sagged off Carney a lot, giving him the jumper, tried to use his length to stay with him, but was easily overpowered by Carney on drives.
- Arana: Surprisingly gave Carney a hard time. Was in the import’s face the entire time, but ended up giving up too many reach in fouls. Despite the height difference, Carney didn’t take Arana to the post at all.
Was really happy to see Coach Yeng also throwing a lot of looks at both Alapag and Castro in this one. In the 1st quarter, the Painters went small on Alapag, putting Tang, Lee and Tiu on him. After Castro checked in the game, Coach Yeng countered by placing Uyloan on him and asking the bigs to trap hard coming off screens. It wasn’t successful though, as the other ROS defenders failed to rotate leading Castro to easily find Williams and Reyes rolling to the basket for easy scores.
After the halftime break, Rain or Shine did significantly better in their pick and roll coverage, continuing to trap, but this time, the help defense was able to rotate in time to stop the roller. This forced TNT’s offense to stagnate and forced the Texters to settle for a lot of treys. Of course, the law of averages came into play as TNT took control of the game in the 4th with a barrage of threes from Alapag, Fonacier and Canaleta.
- Raymond Almazan played very well in this one. At one point in the 1st quarter, the lanky rookie was able to get to the charity stripe three straight times, two coming from offensive rebounds and one from attacking Reyes in the post.
- In the same way, Noy Baclao was pivotal in this TNT win. The former #1 pick put together a great defensive game as he went head to head with Belga and Reid, forcing both to tough shots inside the paint and grabbing crucial rebounds.
- Felt that Coach Yeng stuck too long with the line-up of Lee, Norwood, Arana, Rodriguez and Almazan in the fourth. Aside from Lee, the unit had no other consistent shooters on the floor and TNT was more than happy to clog the paint and give everyone except Lee space to shoot.