Generals head coach Andy De Guzman said the team expected the Stags to go on a zone for most of the game to contain Laminou Hamadou.
“Pinaghandaan namin ‘yung [zone]; nag-design ako ng play, ‘yung tinatawag naming chin na hindi nila na-solve all throughout the game,” De Guzman said.
But the Stags defense reacted differently once the Generals started hitting their attempts from outside — surprisingly.
Francis Munsayac came through with big baskets off the bench, scoring 11 points and adding 3 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals.
The diminutive guard shared he felt the Stags were not giving respect to their offense early on, so he told his teammates to start firing from long range.
“First quarter pa lang sinabihan ko sila na parang minamaliit tayo kasi nagma-man sila. Sabi ko makashoot lang tayo ng isa sa labas, bubuka na yang depensa. Nagulat sila na nakaka-shoot kami sa labas, kaya tinuloy-tuloy namin” he said.
The Generals focused on their outside sniping all-week long, knowing their counterparts wouldn’t pay attention that much on their game from beyond the arc.
Against the zone, the Generals went three-small, spreading the defense and creating open lanes for the Generals.
“Full week ang practice namin ay for the zone, kasi alam namin na magzo-zone sila. Nagpractice kami ng shooting lagi at nag drills dahil hindi mabubutas ang zone kung walang shooting sa labas,” Munsayac added.
When the respect was already there, Munsayac and the rest of EAC’s backcourt started driving and feeding their bigs to disrupt the defense.
“Nung may depensa na, binigay na namin sa loob sa big man. Kami na ang nagpatakbo ng laro kasi sa last games kami yung sumusunod sa flow ng kalaban.”
The Generals nailed 10 triples, six more than the Stags while Hamadou provided the spark in the interior, finishing with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
The Generals will look to build on the momentum they gained as they face the league-leading Letran Knights at 2:00pm.
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