Barangay Ginebra and Purefoods squared off in the first Manila Clasico encounter of the season, and more than 18,000 fans were curious to see which triangle offense ran better.
The Gin Kings deferred from using the triangle exclusively and banked on their screen and roll game to beat the Hotshots soundly, spoiling a great moment for two of Purefoods’ all-time great players on this special night.
“Ganun naman yata halos talaga eh, kapag may mga nakakatanggap ng award sa team yun ang madalas na natatalo,” said Barangay Ginebra guard Joseph Yeo in jest.
But Yeo was able to share some of the reason why they were able to beat Purefoods, and one of the things they did is to get out of that structured system.
“More of puro pick and roll kami. Well, sa triangle naman mayroon pa ring pick and roll, pero doon na naming talaga mina-maximize yung strength namin. Ang dami naming pick and roll players – ako, si LA (Tenorio), si Mark (Caguioa), Jayjay (Helterbrand). Tapos mayroon kaming mga bigs. Kapag nag-roll, libre sila,” said Yeo.
According to Yeo, the team is still a work in progress as far as learning the triangle offense is concerned.
But head coach Jeff Cariaso had given his team more freedom in running the offense on the condition that they will still include the triangle in running the plays.
“Binigyan kami ni Coach Jeff ng freedom. Dati ayaw niya, gusto niya talaga triangle talaga, pero ngayon binigyan niya kami ng freedom,” added Yeo.
But Cariaso said Ginebra’s win goes beyond the execution of triangle.
“I think we wanted it more than they (Purefoods) did,” said Cariaso. “Sa ensayo pa lang makikita mo na talaga. We were tense, we were ready to go.”