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Breakdown: Looking for Barako’s best backcourt combo

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The Barako Bull Energy clipped the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 123-114 Sunday in a high-scoring affair that saw Joseph Yeo dish out 19 points and 10 assists. The Energy had to weather struggles early in the contest, particularly a 50-42 deficit in the first half before they were able to, with the help of the right backcourt rotation, get back in the driver’s seat.

Barako was still ahead in the first half before GlobalPort went on a zone defense and take the 50-42 cushion. Most of the run occurred when it was RR Garcia and Chico Lanete on the floor for the Energy.

The backcourt combo was minus-6 in the match, and it had something to do with Lanete’s poor clip from beyond the arc (20%). And because Garcia was the ball handler during this stretch, it also took away his shooting game as he had to focus on facilitating.

Without that much respect for Lanete, the Batang Pier was able to focus on collapsing underneath, and preventing Barako to get points in the paint.

Here Terrence Romeo does not even seem to care where Lanete is, and instead helps on Jake Pascual inside. Later he does the same, just staying inside the paint for the rebound after JC Intal missed the shot.

Here, four Batang Pier players packed the shaded area and forced a difficult shot from Intal.

The picture changed in the second half as the Energy transformed a 64-69 deficit halfway in the third quarter into an 87-80 lead heading to the final period. They did it with Garcia and Joseph Yeo as the backcourt players. Both Yeo and Garcia shoot above 32 percent from three-point area and thus, they attract more defense.

Yeo in addition, has the ability to play point, attack, distribute, and create, while Garcia was given the off-ball role and since he moves well without the leather, he was able to find open areas.

Now that the defense respected Yeo, Barako became more dangerous. Here, Omar Krayem was hesitant to leave Yeo because he knows Yeo can make him pay with a catch and shoot. As a result, Liam McMorrow had an easy basket over Doug Kramer.

In this play, the Batang Pier failed to defend the Yeo-Willie Wilson pick and roll well, forcing Romeo to help as he tried to prevent a penetration. However, in the process, he leaves Garcia wide open who nails the three-point shot.

Here’s another basket ignited by Yeo’s aggressiveness. Yeo drives and forces the Globalport defense to collapse, then dishes out a pass to JC Intal who was left open by Stanley Pringle. Pringle failed to rotate, and Intal gets and easy layup.

Overall, the Yeo-Garcia backcourt was plus-8, helping the Barako Bull Energy improve to 6-1 in the PBA Governors’ Cup. This tandem, coupled with the right personnel and right plays, can give opposing squads even more problems in the future.

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