IVAN Johnson better be ready against Rain or Shine.
Resident enforcer Beau Belga vows to come out more aggressive in Game Two of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against Talk ‘N Text especially against Johnson, whom he has the unviable task of defending for the rest of the best-of-seven title series.
The heavyweight slotman was limited to just 14 minutes of play in the Elasto Painters’ 99-92 loss in Game One. He committed three quick fouls in the final quarter that led to his disqualification later in the match.
His final personal foul came against Johnson as he tries to stop the explosive Talk ‘N Text import from scoring on a lay up.
“Kailangan kong makatulong sa team. I need to play defense versus Ivan, kaya yun ang iisipin ko come Game Two,” said Belga.
The 6-foot-7 Johnson hurt Rain or Shine inside and out by driving hard to the basket and knocking down three-point shots.
But the former Atlanta Hawks forward’s tendency to get into foul trouble is something the Elasto Painters need to exploit, according to Belga.
“Kailangan namin ma-maximize `yung pagiging prone niya (Johnson) sa foul,” said the burly big man of the import known for his short temper. “Titingnan namin ano puwede naming ma-improve din. We just need to be a little bit serious on this series kasi mahirap `yung mabaon,” said Belga, a native of Gubat, Sorsogon.
But the Rain or Shine stalwart still believes the team is capable of beating a loaded Talk ‘N Text side so long as everyone sticks to the defensive strategy of coach Yeng Guiao.
“Kaya naman namin eh. We should just rely on our defensive strategies and defensive game plan, kasi yung coaching staff naman pinagi-isipian nila ang game plan namin,” he said.
“Siguro naman hindi kami ililigaw ng coaching staff. Talagang we should trust each other and the game plan, saka samahan namin.”
On the other hand, Rain or Shine import Wayne Chism said beating Talk ‘N Text requires a solid team effort.
“Talk ‘N Text just wanted it (to win) more. But throughout the game, they wanted it more and we fell short by missing 15 free throws and we’re just lacking the energy,” noted the former Tennessee standout.
Chism banged in 34 points and hauled down 15 rebounds for the Elasto Painters in a losing effort.