Rain or Shine had full control of the match the moment Talk ‘N Text stopped being aggressive on the offensive end.
Without having to show resistance on defense, the Elasto Painters made stops easily, made baskets on the other side and rolled past the Tropang Texters for a 109-97 win in Game 3 Sunday, taking the upperhand in the best-of-7 PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals series, 2-1.
“We can attribute this win to solid team effort on defense,” head coach Yeng Guiao said. “We anticipated things they might do. Hindi pa nila pinakita. We adjust our offense depending on their defense.”
Rain or Shine shut down Talk ‘N Text’s effective field goal percentage (eFG%) to only 44.38 percent. The 97 points the Tropang Texters registered was their lowest output in the series.
After a defensive rating of more than 124 points per 100 possessions in Game 2, the Elasto Painters also “limited” the Tropang Texters to only 105 points per 100 possessions in Game 3.
On offense, the Elasto Painters overpowered their opponent’s defense with impressive ball movement as they assisted 27 of their 33 field goals, a stark contrast from the Tropang Texters’ 11.
“We did not see them adjust on defense so we kept running what we did in Game 2,” Guiao added.
For Talk ‘N Text head coach Jong Uichico, the match was reminscent of Game 2. They did score a lot of points, but failed to win the battle defensively. The offense was not altogether unimpressive, but it was not inspiring as well.
The trend in Game 2 continued as Talk ‘N Text’s offense stagnated. After the initial attack by the ball-handler (usually Jayson Castro), the rest of the Tropang Texters on the floor would only stand still, a glaring setback of the dribble-drive offense.
The Elasto Painters capitalized on this loophole and are now leading in the heated finals affair.
“It was the same as last game, we gave them too many points. We scored enough to win a game, but we gave away too many points,” Uichico said.
It has been three games in the finals and the Tropang Texters still haven’t found the answers on how to win games using good solid defense. They do average more than a hundred points but against a team who can also explode offensively, the edge will be nabbed by the team that plays better defense.
It has been proven by Rain or Shine in Games 2 and 3, and unless Talk ‘N Text adjusts, the Elasto Painters will continue to have the momentum.