When Liam McMorrow does superhuman stuff, the rest of Barako Bull follows suit.
During Barako’s win against Blackwater, McMarrow threw down an emphatic dunk coming from an alley-oop that brought the entire Energy bench to its feet.
McMorrow, who had 23 points on 10-for-17 shooting, 15 rebounds, and was a plus-34, was a key reason for the Energy’s 2-0 start in the conference, infecting his teammates with a contagious effort when on the floor.
“He needs to rub it off with his teammates and that is what happened in this game. Everybody is so pumped up,” Head Coach Koy Banal said after the Energy dispatched the Elite, 105-90.
Armed with a 7-foot-2 frame and a tremendous wing span, McMorrow’s presence changes the game in many ways, making opponents think twice of making attempts underneath the hoop while also adding confidence to his teammates.
Sophomore guard Carlo Lastimosa was one of the benefactors. Having an aggressive mindset, Lastimosa attacked the basket repeatedly and went on to notch a career-high 18 points on 7-for-11 field goal shooting.
“Malaking bagay yung import naman. Nakita niyo naman sa offense and defense. At ang laki. Blessed kami sa ginagawa ng isa’t isa. Go hard lahat pag pinasok e,” he said.
Lastimosa added having such presence gives them more confidence in shooting the ball knowing there is a big man who can clean up the garbage.
“Alam namin na pwedeng rumebound kapag nagmiss. Masipag talaga, pati loose ball kinukuha kaya may dagdag confidence talaga. Nagco-contribute lahat. Malaking factor yun. Gusto namin manalo kasi lagi kami nasa baba.”
Save for McMorrow who played 33 minutes, no Barako Bull player logged in more than 20 minutes. Banal fielded all 15 players and 14 were able to score — all showcasing the confidence they earned in practice
After a 2-0 start, Banal hopes the Energy makes another great run in the conference.
“I hope they are up for the challenge,” Banal said.