‘Syrian National Team’
The Syrians have quite a tall frontline, 7’0″, 6’10”, 6’10”, but unlike Jordan or Qatar, their big men are not of high quality. They seem to lack athleticism, they’re not quick, nor are they great leapers. Hence, despite their height advantage, we were able to match up with them in terms of rebounding.
About the only bright spots in that team really were the 6’10” Coreea, who was almost unstoppable underneath on offense, and Mike Madanley, who we couldn’t find a solution to almost all game long, but who faded in the end game.
‘RP National Team’
I felt we played with a severe handicap, ith “The Spark” and Helterbrand sitting on the bench for some reason. Along with James Yap and Danny Seigle, that’s four of our starters sidelined in this game. Good thing Ren-Ren Ritualo was able to play well after being given major minutes. A nice opportunity also for Tony Dela Cruz to stamp his mark for this team, but he ended up a bust.
No doubt this is the flashiest game for the Nationals judging by the no. of dunks from both Norwood and Williams. Those guys really showcased their leaping ability in this game.
Just when I thought Williams had effectively eased off Kerby from playing major minutes in this team, Kerby comes out with the crucial one-on-one baskets in the endgame.
Alapag was at his best form today, against the mostly slower Syrians, assisting, hitting the 3 pt. shot, or breaking down the Syrian defenses by drive in plays, and dishing off a lot of assists.
A bit disappointing to see not too many people came out to watch the game live. I think people just doesn’t want to pay to watch international teams they know nothing about, probably just preferring to watch it on TV instead. It didn’t help that the PBA seemed to have raised the prices for these games.
I don’t remember seeing the Syrians play anything less than man-to-man defense in this game, while we seemed to have stuck with that 2-3 Zone most of the time.
Great win for the RP NT, despite the handicaps we had. Everybody rose to the occassion for the win. Would’ve preferred to watch a game between our team and China tomorrow, but I’ll take what I can get.