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.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Breaking down Rain or Shine’s Game 3 win over TNT

This appears on the PBA's official website.

Breaking down Rain or Shine’s Game 3 win over TNT
by rick olivares

Talk ‘N Text is in a lot of trouble. Didn’t see the adjustments from the Game 2 loss. If it was there, they were on their heels from the get-go as Rain or Shine dictated the pace.

RoS made a living off the pick and roll.
The Tropang Texters couldn’t solve this all night long. Essentially, RoS put a lot of shooters outside (like Gilas did to its opponents in the FIBA Asia), ran out their center to bring out TNT’s big man, and then attacked the basket. There were times when Ivan Johnson was either slow or not sure whether to fight under the pick to switch. But for the most part, the man freed by the pick drove hard to the basket or drifted off for an open shot or a three. Too often, a Tropang Texter was late to rotate.

Was watching a verbal exchange after a botched defensive stop on the pick and roll where Johnson answered Jong Uichico and Tab Baldwin. Jay Washington was assigned to Wayne Chism. Instead of the pick and roll, the Elasto Painters went to the low post game where Chism made mincemeat out of Washington. Then Johnson went to the bench and Rain or Shine went on a tear. They never recovered from that.

Rain or Shine played better as a team
With TNT’s defense in shambles, RoS was picking them off with a terrific passing game. The routinely found the open man and rarely had players taking shots that were not in the flow of the game. The disparity in team play is glaring – 20 assists by RoS to the measly 4 of TNT. Kevin Alas had one assist. Castro had none. Could Rob Labagala have helped?

TNT was left to give the ball to Jayson Castro and for Ivan Johnson to drive. You could see that coming a mile away. On many occasions, the two were stopped. Or it was dump the ball to Ranidel De Ocampo and see him try to discombobulate Beau Belga or Raymond Almazan.  RoS did better in containing him this time.

At one point, Kevin Alas went solo on a drive when he should have passed. Not only did Jong Uichico tell him off but also so did Kelly Williams who stood by the free throw line and say, “Pass it.”

Yeng Guiao made better use of his bench
Guiao played 14 of his 16 players while counterpart used only 10 of his players. I thought once more that some players played long stretches – Kevin Alas and even Harvey Carey – when they needed to be rested. In my opinion, Matt Rosser should have come in a lot earlier than a little over the last three minutes when TNT was offensively challenged.

TNT needs to back up Ivan Johnson
RoS was totally punishing Johnson. Either with rough and physical play or defensive stops. Each time, their entire bench, coaching staff included, ridiculed him. While Johnson gained a measure of revenge by inadvertently knocking out a tooth from Paul Lee (who himself kept knocking down Kevin Alas) on a strong drive, I thought that TNT should have stood up for their teammate who had a rough night. Johnson came back strong in the fourth period as he attacked the basket a lot better. But still…

Maybe TNT plays a certain way but times like this you need to knock someone down as well. Since Game Two, you could see RoS deliberately trying to get Johnson’s goat and it is sad that TNT hasn’t done anything to help or back up their import. In Game Two, Jeff Chan stuck out a tongue at Johnson.

I am not suggesting that TNT go Calvin Abueva on RoS but they need to stand up for their teammate.

Game Four is where TNT has to make a stand. If RoS takes that then this one could be all over.

No comments:

Post a Comment