Rain or Shine trailed early when the team faced Blackwater on Friday [READ: Balanced offense aids Rain or Shine over Blackwater to share top spot in standings]. Wayne Chism committing three fouls in the first quarter alone was the last thing the Elasto Painters needed, and the Elite pounced on this setback as they took a 28-23 lead early in the second quarter.
The game, however, still swung the Elasto Painters’ way when Chism returned, as it opened the lane for Rain or Shine to attack. Aside from Chism, who finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds, three other players finished in double figures for Yeng Guiao.
On the other end, Blackwater had another monster game from Marcus Douthit, who posted 34 points, 20 rebounds, and a tied career-high eight assists.
There were a few key points from this game, which showed the Elite’s weakness in defending teams with good ball movement, and teams using the dribble-penetration offense.
1. Wayne Chism changes everything
Blackwater held a five-point edge with Chism on the bench as Douthit did not have to go way out to defend Rain or Shine’s bigs. Beau Belga is an atrocious shooter from three-point land (one-for-19 this conference). So whenever the Elasto Painters threw a pick and roll play, Douthit was not too concerned with the roll man, and it helped them protect the rim.
It helped that JP Erram was the other forward on the floor, and with his length, the Elite made it difficult for the Elasto Painters to finish around the rim. Erram was the “helper of the helper” in this defensive line-up.
However, everything changed for Rain or Shine after Chism returned. Chism shoots over 40 percent from the outside. Guiao paired Chism with JR Quiñahan, who is about 36 percent from the same area.
This drew Douthit out of the paint, as he respected the outside game of both Chism and Quiñahan, and it opened the lane for Rain or Shine to penetrate. The Elasto Painters held a five-point advantage at halftime, and they never looked back.
Rain or Shine shot 11-for-31 from downtown (35 percent) and had 48 points in the paint, eight more than Blackwater. What made it worse for the Elite was that their players were helping one pass away, and the Elasto Painters did a good job of finding open shooters to mess up the defensive rotation.
“When Wayne is making his outside shots, it makes it a bit easier for us. We were really trying to pull out Marcus and play him from the outside and it opened the floor for our guards to drive,” Guiao said. “When he was making those, it was positive for us.”
“[Space] is very important for us, because I attract so much attention whether from inside or top of the key and when we run that offense by Coach Yeng Guiao it opens up so much for us,” Chism added.
2. Val Acuña gives Blackwater additional space, threat from deep
Acuña is averaging only 12.12 minutes a game and 33 percent from three-point country this conference, and played only one game above 20 minutes (29 minutes against Talk ‘N Text on February 1). On Friday he played 30 minutes, sank five-for-10 threes, and finished with a career-high 20 points (his previous high was 12).
Most of his triples came from kick-out passes, which is a welcome development for the Elite, with a penetrator like Brian Heruela and a good reader like Douthit. Seeing a three from Acuña assisted by Heruela off a dribble pitch or a kick-out, would also be a fun thing to watch.
3. Brian Heruela is pound-for-pound one of the toughest players in the league
Heruela faced a physical Rain or Shine group but it didn’t matter at all. Guiao put different players in front of him, but Heruela was just too strong, which is why he will be a good focal point for this Blackwater offense in the years to come. The Elite do have shooters, so it would be a great sight to see Heruela beating opponents off the dribble and finishing hard underneath, aside from locating open guys.
4. Rain or Shine is very dangerous in transition
The Elasto Painters scored 26 fastbreak points, as the team made a conscious effort of pushing the pace the moment they gathered the possession. Gabe Norwood had an alley-oop slam in the third quarter. Furthermore, Chism had a dunk one early in the first half. Not to mention, the way they execute during fastbreak situations is incredible.
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