Painters go 2-0 up
Just two days earlier, Rain or Shine struggled to make shots, winning Game 1 of its PBA Philippine Cup showdown with Magnolia despite hitting just 34 percent of its attempt from the floor.
But two quarters into Game 2, Torres had already made all four attempts from beyond the arc. He already had 16 points, too, as the Elasto Painters eventually fashioned out a methodical 93-80 beatdown of the Magnolia Hotshots Sunday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum for a
2-0 series lead.
“I think we just started the game on fire,” said Rain or Shine Caloy Garcia. “Norbert came out and hit his shots and I think that threw [the Hotshots] off.”
The 6-foot-6 Torres, who seems to have found a home after bouncing around the league in his first four seasons, contributed five rebounds and a block in less than 15 minutes of play.
The Painters hardly needed any more second out of him after racing to huge leads in the third period.
“Our defense was also key today. We were able to slow down their guards. For us to win this series, we have to be a consistent defensive team,” added Garcia.
Defense will also be the talk in both locker rooms in the other half of the semifinal bracket.
San Miguel Beer, the team’s best offensive squad, will gun for a 2-0 lead against Phoenix Pulse on Monday armed with yet another weapon: The Beermen’s defense has held opponents under 90 points in the team’s last three victories.
“It’s really been our defense,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
And Phoenix hopes to rediscover its own defensive identity to try level the series.
“We’ve been winning and we got to 9-2 [in the eliminations] because of our defense and not because of our offense. I need to remind our players what our identity is,” Alas said after a 100-88 loss to the Beermen Saturday.
Take a cue from the Painters, perhaps?
Rain or Shine wanted to slow Magnolia’ succeeded, as the Hotshots’ high-octane guards, Jio Jalalon and Mark Barroca, combined for just four points on on 2-of-13 from the field. The Painters also made Paul Lee work for his 12 points. Lee made 4 of his 9 attempts and committed three turnovers.
Ed Daquioag led Rain or Shine with 19 points, including nine in the third quarter where the Painters forged a 25-point lead.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.