* Favorite play early in the game: “Andi Mark” makes a steal off the Lebanese PG, and scores off him by a spinning, fade-away shot. Lebanese PG tries to take it back by going coast to coast …. only to have his shot blocked by Giles. Lebanese PG then fouls “Andi Mark” in the next play. 😀
* Is this a Philippine team playing on the court? Then why are they playing like Europeans, making lots of passes during the half court setup? Seriously, its really different when you have a very competent, foreign coach at the helm. Its wonderful to see a Philippine team playing like this, which is how us as a short people should be playing basketball.
* “Smart Jelas” is again winning the game using its quickness [b]in all aspects[/b] of the game, not just on offense, but also on defense. I saw a couple of turnovers all throughout the game wherein our quicker guards end up making a couple of interceptions and/or steals. And then the team just runs … and runs … on offense off a turnover, and they score off those turnovers most of the time.
* And just terrific outside shooting for this team. I think if you count the shots the “Smart Jelas” team takes, it will mostly be in the perimeter. I saw on two occassions “Andi Mark” not going for a layup in crowded situation, and instead stopping and taking a close-range jumper. This is unusual, because normally you would see players driving hard in if the lane is open even if there are defenders, confident they might be fouled even if they do not make the shot. But in those cases, no, “Andi Mark” opted to take a pull up jumper in place of an outside shot. And I think its great, because they are playing against much taller players.
* Same old Brian Beshara we knew in 2007. Still playing the rough, physical game whenever he can. He was called for a foul when he sent “Andi Mark” on the floor while setting a pick for a teammate. LOL
* The team’s weakness right now is very evident in this game, though. “Smart Jelas” really doesn’t have any other effective, inside presence aside from CJ Giles. Giles was awesome inside, especially with those offensive rebounds. You take him out due to foul trouble, or (gad forbid) injury, then the team suffers. This was obvious when Giles went out, and Toroman sent Slaughter and Ballesteros one after the other to try to see if they could help out. They couldn’t.
* About the only big man who sort of stepped up and delivered when Giles went out, was Ramos. I think I saw him with a shotblock, then he definitely had an outside shot and a putback off an offensive rebound. But even he could not approximate Giles’ presence in terms of individual defense, especially when going up against the likes of Al-Riyadi import Christian Charles.
* The biggest question for me in this game, is where is Mac Baracael? He was great in “Smart Jelas”‘ first two games, averaging in double figures in those games, and would’ve been a big help when Giles went out. My only guess, is that he suffered some sort of an injury that sidelined him for this game. I only hope, he can get back to playing form in their next game.
* I’m also thinking: What if Toroman had access to the best players in the PBA? Look at “Smart Jelas” right now: You have Barroca, who is doing very well. But is Barroca really better than JayJay Helterbrand, or Willie Miller? What about “Kris-toper” Tiu, is he better than, say, James Yap? What if CJ Giles had Asi Taulava as his backup? And yet with what he has at the moment, the best players in college, Toroman had been able to mold into a solid, fighting squad. Imagine what he could do, with a PBA All-Star team.