* First, I would like to thank China, for sending their Team “B” in this tournament. We would have almost no probable chance of beating their Team “A”, but this Team “B” is different as it is a little bit more beatable.
* I was having 2nd thoughts of watching this game, but, well, then again, I thought, I need to see this through, after following the RP NT closely over the last couple of months.
‘Chinese Team B’
* Adiljan’s gambit of not pulling out players in foul trouble came back to haunt him in this game. Dr. Jao said its like a custom for foreign teams like SK & China, but it is a bad custom, one I hope they continue to keep. With their starting PG fouling out, this team simply DISINTEGRATED when the RP team started pressing them. Turnover after turnover after turnover, it allowed the RP team to climb back slowly in the 3rd quarter before finally getting the lead about halfway to the 4th quarter.
* This team also couldn’t muscle us underneath, we were able to keep pace w/ them in terms of rebounding despite their superiority in height.
* Its just a very young, inexperienced team. I think China is willing to sacrifice losing games & tournaments for now, hoping it will eventually pay off in the future. They do have some good promising players there, like Yi Li, their starting Center & Bo Wang. Whether those promise will eventually be fulfilled, we’ll see.
‘RP National Team’
* “The Kerbinator” continued to play well in this game, doing what he does best: Playing very steadily, converting easy, open shots underneath the basket, rebounding & coming up w/ those great one-on-one moves. ‘Iba talaga, pag matatag ang puso’ (translation: A big heart really makes a difference).
* It was Kelly William’s turn to step up in this game. He played a terrific defensive game: Rebounding, & more importantly, getting a LOT of interceptions & steals, INCLUDING the most crucial one w/ only 3.6 seconds to go. Dammit, we need to think of a monicker for Kelly now.
* Another player who stepped up, is no less than “The Mighty Mouse” himself, Jimmy Alapag. Jimmy sustained us w/ his 3 pt. shots when the going got tough, & orchestrated the plays VERY well for the team. Without that steady direction, its hard for me to imagine us winning this game.
* For the 2nd straight game, Mark Caguioa simply shot poorly from field, along w/ Don Don Hontiveros. Where was Caguioa’s 45% 3 pt. shooting & 48% 2 pt. shooting in the Jones Cup? Same w/ Don Don, who shot 55% of his 2 pt. shots & 41% of his 3 pt. shots in the same tournament? I think the answer, is that our opponents simply stepped up their INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE effort, making it harder for all our players to hit their shots. Except for a few who have stepped up, & delivered.
* I don’t agree about Chot’s sticking w/ Caguioa even if he was playing badly for the 2nd straight game. I felt that, when he saw Mark not hitting his shots & committing turnovers, he should at least given some playing time to Renren. It was a big gamble for him sticking w/ Mark, & it payed off this time as Mark made his shots just at the right moment in the end game. But it won’t always be that way. Chot shouldn’t take too many chances like that, he should do what is “safe” & sensible.
* With “The Kerbinator” & Williams playing well, a player w/ the name of “Danny” was forgotten (Danny who?). But I think DS will be given some playing time later, I was a bit worried seeing Kelly getting all banged up in this game. I don’t think he will be able to keep it up for a couple of games.
* W/ Kelly & “The Kerbinator” playing well underneath, & Jordan playihg without the 7’0″ Almaaytah, we have better chance of beating this team. The biggest headache, though, will be their IMPORT, Rasheem Wright. I wonder if we could try to get that bastar_ in foul trouble by attacking him early on offense. Another tough game for the RP NT, we’ll have to go thru the eye of the needle in that game, I hope we pull thru.