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.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Three points to look at in GlobalPort’s Game 1 win over Alaska

Four guys to stop Stanley Pringle. Maybe they should have thrown this at Terrence Romeo.
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Three points to look at in GlobalPort’s Game 1 win over Alaska
by rick olivares

The GlobalPort Batang Pier opened their first ever semifinals berth with a huge 107-93 victory over the favored Alaska Aces in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The basic strength of the former is their offense while the latter is known for its defense. And last night, GlobalPort utilized their advantage to the hilt while showing that they too can play defense. 

Here are three points to glean from last night’s win.

The Batang Pier bring up the ball quickly. 
There’s are reason why the Batang Pier is the third top-scoring team of the conference. Let’s leave Terrence Romeo out of the equation for the moment. They were the third best rebounding team behind Ginebra and Rain or Shine. Control of the boards means opportunities to run or to have more time to run their offensive sets.

GlobalPort finished with 50 boards to Alaska’s 47. Not much but every bit helps. That also translated into an edge in fastbreak points 29-23.

I thought that Alaska’s defense on Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo bringing up the ball was abysmal. It took them three to five seconds to bring up the ball leaving them plenty of time to get off a shot. They didn’t take too many shots under duress. 

It helps GlobalPort to have such talented ball handlers and we also saw an example of that late in the game during one of the rare occasions Alaska hounded them from the backcourt. Cyrus Baguio nearly got a steal off Pringle who still made it across to pass to Romeo. He too nearly lost the ball but had enough control to find Anthony Semerad for a huge shot.

What can Alaska do: Hound the ball carriers to make them take shots deep into the shot clock count.

The Batang Pier dictated the pace and played with a lot more energy than Alaska.
Jarencio’s boys were sure pumped up for their first ever semis appearance and they didn’t allow Alaska to bully them into submission. 

Jawing at foes and playing physical doesn’t mean that you own the game. As I recall, Vic Manuel — no matter how well he is playing — got a technical for it and was even sat down after another altercation. That didn’t even disrupt the rhythm of GlobalPort who still continued to execute. 

Of the 11 players Jarencio sent in, it was only Dorian Peña who didn’t score. However, he did grab a rebound and stood up to Manuel who was trying to get into Semerad’s face.

On the other hand, three of the 13 players sent into the match by Alaska head coach Alex Compton didn’t score. 

GlobalPort led throughout the game. Alaska came roaring back in the third period but never got closer than six points after which Pido Jarencio’s troops repulsed them. That’s the beauty of spotting a huge lead.

You can also say that Alaska’s old sickness of allowing foes to run up a huge lead is playing with fire. They can’t rally all the time for a win. And true enough last night, they didn’t.

What can Alaska do: They might want to juggle that starting unit a bit. Maybe give RJ Jazul and Chris Banchero a chance to start in the backcourt. Put Calvin Abueva in early as well. Yes, I know it might have worked in the elims but this isn’t the elims.  

Too much Terrence Romeo!
Forty-one points for a career high! Shot 57% from the field. That somewhat bucked his eight turnovers. He passed when he needed to. Deferred when he needed to. Took shots when they needed some big points. 

What can Alaska do: Hound him, play Ping Exciminiano on him a little more (he knows him since they were teammates in FEU), and throw double teams at him. Make the others like Keith Jensen beat you.

This won’t be a short series but a long one. It would be interesting to see how Alaska adjusts and what Jarencio will do for his team to go up, 2-0.

1 comment:

  1. I'd say let Romeo beat Alaska, but contain Pringle and the rest. Pick your poison since it is nearly impossible to stop Romeo. Just defend Romeo one on one and let him beat Alaska. In this way, rhythm of his teammates will be disrupted. The same thing with SMB and ROS, let Junemar beat you one on one but contain all other options.