What’s going on here?
You know, I’ll be fine with Rain or Shine struggling from the field against a great defensive team, but to start out sluggish (again) and virtually allow Meralco to keep you in check the entire game? This was an embarrassing game from the team and if things don’t improve quickly, then we can just throw this conference away.
I’m not really sure what happened to the Rain or Shine offense, but the potency of last conference’s attack is all but gone now. Arizona Reid looks like he’s forcing it at times and of course, Norwood, Chan and Belga are all still struggling to get their games back.
I’m really impressed with the Bolts’ defensive game though, their last three wins have all been won on the defensive end and this victory over the Elasto Painters ranks as one of their most dominant defensive games this conference as they limited Rain or Shine to conference lows of 76 points on 35.2% shooting.
Let’s dive deeper into this contest through our keys to the game:
The Meralco frontline did just enough in this game to limit their ROS counterparts in this game. Nobody expected Reynel Hugnatan to play after spraining his ankle in their last game. But, along with Hodge, both were once again doing their thing from the get-go, with Hodge stepping up with 17 points and a game clinching block on a Jeff Chan lay-up in the end game.
All in all though, the ROS bigs were unable to take control of the paint, but it wasn’t all their fault, as the team’s perimeter defense repeatedly allowed Meralco slashers to get into the paint and draw fouls, especially Wilson and West who attempted 8 and 12 freebies respectively).
Meralco came out hot froam beyond the arc and ended the game with a respectable 38.5% from rainbow territory. John Wilson finally had a breakout game for the Bolts with 18 points (3/5 from three), five rebounds, three assists and a steal. In addition, Cliff Hodge and Mario West hit one trey a piece as Meralco wisely chose to force it inside and limit their attempts from long range to those that just had to be taken.
Paul Lee finished with 5 points (1/4 from three, 1/7 from inside the arc). I’m not even going to go into how terrible that line is. Instead, I’ll say that all players are due for bad games like this one, but for Norwood (3 points), Chan (2 points) and Belga (5 points) to continue to struggle like this? It’s a surprise that the Elasto Painters were even able to keep this game close.
Again I ask: What’s going on here?
The Elasto Painters play the now potent Barako Bull Energy Cola on Tuesday, September 10 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.