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Do’s & Dont’s: PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals 2015 Game 5

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Both teams have won two games apiece. TNT won twice when both teams scored under 100 points (Games 1 and 4), while RoS garnered two victories when both teams exploded for over 100 points (Games 2 and 3). Moreover, the last game also featured an undercard bout between Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Jireh Ibañes. Both guys got tossed for fighting over a game worn jersey that belonged to MGR. Also, JR Quiñahan got ejected for throwing the ball squarely on MGR’s head. Quiñahan’s pitch was perfect. Anyway, the winner of Game 5 in a tied series, more often than not has gone on to win the series. Here are some keys to winning the game for both teams.

Rain or Shine

Run in transition all the time.
RoS always uses a deeper rotation and they have utilized more players in the Finals. This means that their players are generally more rested, thus, they can run more than TNT. In Game 4, both teams were tied in fastbreak points. RoS needs to regain their advantage in running up/down the floor because TNT cannot match that pace and tempo for 48 minutes.

Your time to shine. Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Do’s & Dont’s: PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals 2015 Game 5
Different players for RoS have stepped up in the Finals. One game it was Jireh Ibañes, next was Jericho Cruz, and the latest one was Chris Tiu, who poured in a career-high of 21 points to lead his team in scoring. This balanced scoring must continue for RoS because they are deadlier when the offense comes from different players.

Ang pikon ay laging talo.
We all know that RoS loves to play physical, and they use mind games to annoy you and distract you from playing your game. However, RoS cannot succumb to their own tactics and get themselves ejected or suspended. They rely more on the contributions of their bench so every player is important especially with Jeff Chan hurting.

Avoid silly and cheap fouls. Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Do’s & Dont’s: PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals 2015 Game 5
With the way RoS plays defense, it is no surprise that they get called for a lot of fouls. Some of the fouls were warranted, while others were not. In any case, Wayne Chism should avoid placing himself in situations where silly fouls might be called on him. Chism barely played in the first half because he got into early foul trouble. He only played under 27 minutes and finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Those were easily his least productive numbers in the Finals. If Chism played his usual 40 minutes, RoS could have eked out a win in Game 4.

Talk ‘N Text

Better ball movement and ball protection.
Since TNT had awful numbers for assists (11) and turnovers (13) in Game 3, it wasn’t that difficult to vastly improve on them. In Game 4, they had 15 assists compared to just nine turnovers. The bonus effect of having fewer turnovers resulted to decreased fastbreak opportunities for RoS. TNT managed to hold their own in fastbreak points since both teams only scored eight fastbreak points.

The dynamic duo must deliver. Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Do’s & Dont’s: PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals 2015 Game 5
The bench has been non-existent for TNT in this series. They rarely score more than 15 points as a unit. This means that the starters need to provide almost all of the scoring. Thus, Jayson Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo must deliver monster numbers to give TNT a chance to win Game 5. Castro already scored 44 points in a losing effort, while RDO erupted for 33 points in their Game 4 win. One or both of them need to have a huge game if TNT has any hopes of acquiring a 3-2 edge.

Control the paint.
TNT made sure that they dominated the paint when Wayne Chism played sparingly due to foul trouble. TNT had more points in the paint (44-34) that mostly came from layups by Jayson Castro and dunks from RDO. TNT also displayed better paint protection by finishing with 7 blocks compared to only 3 by RoS. However, the Tropang Texters failed to win the rebounding battle yet again. For teams that love to shoot from the perimeter, it would be ironic that this series could be won by controlling the shaded lane.

Stay on the court.
Even with all the transgressions and extra motions in this brutal series, TNT import, Ivan Johnson has managed to avoid getting ejected or fouling out. Johnson played about 41 minutes in Game 4, and he finished with 19 markers to go along with 10 boards. Johnson did not necessarily dominate the game, but he did just enough to help TNT win the game. His presence opened up driving lanes for Castro, and RoS was unable to double team RDO because Johnson would hurt them on the weak side. Game 4 was also the first time in the Finals that Johnson finished with better numbers than Wayne Chism.

Prediction for Game 5: Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Do’s & Dont’s: PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals 2015 Game 5    We might see more WWE/UFC/MMA action since the punishment handed out seemed rather tame. Players who leave the bench should be AUTOMATICALLY suspended for a game. Anyway, I think TNT will grab the series edge because RDO and Castro are booming with confidence, plus RoS will be playing with a hurting Jeff Chan and without JR Quiñahan.

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