Gabe Norwood finds his mark at perfect time for Rain or Shine
MANILA, Philippines—Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood picked the best time to make his presence felt in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
With the Elasto Painters on the verge of getting swept, Norwood hit a triple with 1:14 left to play to put his team ahead of San Miguel, 105-104.
That triple—his lone make from deep all night—was the shot Rain or Shine needed to build on for a 112-104 decision over the powerhouse club that kept its bid for a Finals slot alive Wednesday night at Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
But Norwood, always the guy who deflects credit, said the victory was largely due to them “valuing possessions” better.
“I think we did a good job bouncing back in the first half. 15 turnovers in the first half, I think we only had 2 in the second half. I think that helped us get the win tonight, so you know, guys stepped up,” said Norwood, who finished with 11 points, five rebounds, four assists to go with a block and a steal.
Indeed, their second-half effort in taking care of the basketball enabled Rain or Shine’s cogs to work well. Rey Nambatac and Javee Mocon chipped in their usual scoring figures as Beau Belga went on to widen the gap in the stretch to help weather the Beermen and a big double-double by their import.
For his part, Norwood felt undeniable good with his basket. After all, it did typify his struggles in the midseason tourney.
“Felt good. That’s the only one I hit, the only one I hit. I’ve been shooting the ball better this series than I had all-conference, even in the quarterfinals,” Norwood said.
“Beau made a big shot, Rey played well, (Carl Montgomery) played consistently all the way through. We got to do it all again.”
But the Painters skipper also knows they have to do more than that as they shoot for the equalizer on Friday night, again at the Big Dome.
“I mean, I like to think we’re just learning from our mistakes now,” he said. “The pressure’s off us.”
“They say the hardest game to win is the close-out. So for us, right now, we’re just gonna play loose, continue to trust each other and see what happens.”
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