Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Breaking Down Game 2 of the Commissioner’s Cup Finals: Talk 'N Text vs Rain or Shone

This appears on the PBA website

Breaking Down Game 2 of the Commissioner’s Cup Finals
analysis by rick olivares pic by brosi gonzales

Rain or Shine evened up the finals series with Talk ‘N Text at one game apiece. And here are my thoughts about how the game went.

RoS survived an incredible shooting display by Jayson Castro in the second period. They overhauled an 18-point second quarter deficit. I won’t say much about that unless that was a late third quarter or early fourth period deficit because we all know that in sports there are always comebacks.

Not to take anything away from the Elasto Painters, it was a deserved win.

Now let’s break it down.

What went wrong for Talk ‘N Text?
I thought they lacked enough scorers to help in the overall effort. Sure four players finished in double digits but if you look at the quarter scoring – save for the second period -- it was sort of balanced.

In the first half, no Elasto Painter scored in double digits in a quarter. Instead, several players scored four points, six points each. That meant the ball was moving around.

They stopped attacking the basket. In the first quarter, RoS had problems dealing with the drive. When Castro found the range – aided by a Larry Fonacier trey – they stopped attacking.

The Tropang Texters had problems with their rotation. Aaron Aban had a tough time following Paul Lee (they sure miss Ryan Reyes). Too often Ivan Johnson found himself outside the arc guarding Lee or some other player who in turn would throw lob passes inside to Raymond Almazan, Wayne Chism, or another Elasto Painter for an easy deuce.

I wondered about the rotation in the second half. Why didn’t Danny Seigle come back? Kevin Alas and Matt Rosser were on the bench for too long. Rosser came back with 2:03 left and RoS firmly in control.

TNT walked into RoS’ physical mindtrap. What I love about TNT is how they are one of the paragons of execution next to Purefoods. No emotion. Just play the game. When Ivan Johnson confronted Beau Belga in the middle of RoS’ massive third quarter rally during a timeout, the mask of cool had unraveled. The rough play and non-calls (in one instance, Chism was inside the paint for a good eight seconds) began to affect them.

What did RoS do right?
They inserted Ryan Araña to start the third period. Araña attacked the basket and got TNT off balance. He scored only seven points to go with a rebound and a steal but he was a pivotal player. He gave RoS the spark they needed in that third period.

I am not going to give too much credit to Jireh Ibanes defense (he did contribute offensively though) on Castro. Simply put Castro was able to get his shot off but missed. He cooled off. They spent too much time trying to go to the low post that they were taking shots with the clock running down.

The Elasto Painters stayed with their offense. Post. Draw the double team. Pass out. Attack from the left side of the arc (where they got a ton of points from Araña, Gabe Norwood, Chism, and Lee). Their physical game wore out Kelly Williams (you could see him grimacing with all the wrestling going on inside) and got Johnson temporarily out of the game.

They hit some pretty huge triples. They had a lot of players spread the TNT defense. Chism, Lee, Norwood, Araña, and Jeff Chan nailed a lot of treys negating Castro who cooled down at the half.

What should TNT work on? Their switching on defense. Getting more people involved in the offense. And not falling into the mind games.

Game Three needless to say is pivotal.

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