Looking at Mahindra’s win over Meralco
by rick olivares
Following last Wednesday night’s 105-92 setback to Mahindra Floodbuster, I am hard-pressed to figure out what’s wrong with the Meralco Bolts.
New players in the mix. Yeah.
Inconsistency. For sure.
Lack of a strong inside presence. Definitely.
But here’s where there is something wrong with that postulate.
If you look at the statistics, the Bolts scored more inside points, 36-22; slightly less second chance points, 14-15; more fastbreak points, 11-3; more points off turnovers, 24-12; finished with more assists 26-21; had more steals, 9-1; and finished with fewer fouls, 20-23.
So what happened?
Mahindra shot better. Let me correct that – way much better. They hit at 61% accuracy clip from two-point range, and drilled 14 more triples than Meralco. Yes, 14 more. The Floodbuster hit 21 three-pointers to the mere seven of the Bolts. Nine of Mahindra’s players hit triples. No one was hotter than Zam Paniamogan who found the bottom of the net seven of nine tries for a total of 25 points.
The pistolero of Jose Rizal University seems to have found not only a team but a spot in the PBA after nothing happening in his rookie year.
It’s really difficult to win when one side is shooting the daylights out of the gym despite your best efforts to stop them.
Look here… Paniamogan was an insane 82% from the field. Russel Escoto scored 10 points and was a perfect 100% from the field. And Nico Salva who seems to have found a home with Mahindra, hit 71% of his shots!
On the Bolts’ part, Cliff Hodge played one of his worst games. In 34-plus minutes, he only tallied one point, but added six assists and four rebounds and a blocked shot.
The rookies -- Ed Daquioag and Jonathan Grey --- had sup-par games. With six Mahindra in double digits, Meralco had a tough time with the evergreen Reynel Hugnatan and sophomores Chris Newsome and Baser Amer chipping in double digits. Hugnatan since his Governors’ Cup renaissance has been on a tear doing it all on both ends of the court and from three-point range and inside the lane. Consistently if I might add.
Four Meralco players (actually five if you include Grey but he was only 1-2) hit 50% or better from the field! That includes Hugnatan, Newsome, and Amer. The fourth player is actually Bryan Faundo who played well but finished with only nine points.
With some guys missing and Mahindra hitting most of their shots, it was lights out for Meralco that fell to 2-6.
But for now, I guess it is safe to say that their imports the previous year made a massive difference.
So I am thinking that it’s one step backward and hopefully, for Meralco, two steps forward as their younger players soak in more experience and get better.
And when their imports return.