Rain or Shine jumped to a 2-1 lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals after everyone on the team contributed in every way possible. But the same effort on both ends of the floor that gave the Elasto Painters the upperhand, surprisingly dissipated in Games 4 and 5 which they both lost, as the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters returned the favor.
“I felt we really did not put out the kind of effort that we wanted or needed. I am disappointed we were always half a step slow or one full step behind on defense. There was just no aggressiveness on defense. We were broken down several times by (Ranidel) De Ocampo, (Jayson) Castro, and the import (Ivan Johnson),” head coach Yeng Guiao shared during the aftermath of Talk ‘N Text’s 103-94 Game 5 win last Friday.
“If you put down your defense they are going to take advantage and that is what happened today. We will see if we can fix that and if we will be able to bring it back on Sunday.”
Talk ‘N Text had an effective field goal percentage (eFG%) of 55.26 percent in its last two wins, and in Game 5 assisted 20 of its 39 made field goals as Rain or Shine went troubled in stopping the ball.
De Ocampo and Johnson scored 27 points each while Castro had 15 points and 9 assists, and all three inflicted damage throughout the match.
“They just shot the ball well. There were times where I thought we were making the effort or challenging the ball well but they were still making them,” Guiao added.
Wayne Chism on the other end, who scored 25 points and 17 boards, was a mere plus-1 and had difficulties defending the pick and roll. Castro and rookie Kevin Alas would often create scoring opportunities off pick and roll plays which attacked Chism.
Raymond Almazan was even worse, scoring only 4 points – all from the free throw line – and was a minus-8.
“Wayne’s energy level was not his usual energy level. But I am sure he is going to make up for it,” Guiao shared.
While the Tropang Texters have shattered the Elasto Painters’ defensive wall, Guiao remains undeterred and hopes his squad will be able to wake up in Game 6.
There were still a few positives from Game 5, like Jeric Teng hitting his outside shots and the Elasto Painters seizing a 20-11 lead early. But for the chance not to evaporate, Guiao thinks it will boil down to being there mentally.
“Just win one then if Game 7 is there, it is a toss-up. We have a big game on Sunday and I am just hoping we can just give the energy on Sunday,” he said.
“When that happens you cannot get down on yourself. Kapag nangyayari yun mafu-frustrate ka, yout energy level will go down and it will get worse. I think it is just being there mentally.”