RAIN or Shine had to watch in horror as Jeff Chan, Greg Slaughter, and Joe Devance hit big shot after another for Ginebra against the Elastopainters in Game One of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals.
For Rain or Shine veteran Beau Belga, the Elastopainters must not allow that to happen again in Game Two on Tuesday.
Chan played his best game as a Ginebra player and it was at the expense of his former team as he had 21 points in the Kings’ 102-89 win. He shot 6 of 10 from the field and made three of his five three-point attempts.
Slaughter also played big when he had 20 points and six rebounds, while Devance added 12 points for the Kings.
The locals complemented Justin Brownlee, who had a near-triple double when he had 35 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and four blocks.
Belga, however, said the key in the series moving forward is limiting the likes of Chan and company.
“Isa ‘yun sa sabi ko sa mga teammates ko,” said Belga. “If it is Justin Brownlee na papatay sa amin, so be it,” Belga said. “Justin Brownlee is Justin Brownlee. Talagang magaling na import. Saludo ako sa kanya.
“Kailangan namin i-limit ‘yung locals especially si Jeff. Na-limit namin si LA (Tenorio) pero si Jeff, si Joe, Si Greg (hindi). Constant effort para sa aming lahat especially on defense.”
For his part, Gabe Norwood said that kind of game is what is expected of Chan, so he believes they need to force their former teammate to work even more.
“That’s what he does,” said Norwood. “He plays in big games. Something you use to see out of him. We have to make adjustments and make him work harder.”
Norwood added: “They came out on fire and we were playing catchup from the beginning of the game so kudos to them. They executed, defended us, and made us work on the defensive end.”
Norwood though still likes the team chances of tying things up despite the lopsided defeat after the Elastopainters trailed by as many as 24 points and shot only 37 of 102 from the field.
“This is the good part of the playoffs. You have a good chance at evening things up. We will come back tomorrow and get things ready,” said Norwood.
While the team struggled on offense, Belga, one of the veterans of the Rain or Shine squad, said defense has been the key for the Kings during the eliminations and it has to continue in this series against the Kings, winners of eight straight games, if they want to be in contention for a finals seat.
“We were in number one sa elims because dumedepensa kami. It’s hard to beat Ginebra kaso hindi mo alam kung anong klaseng balasa ang gagawin ni coach Tim. Hindi pupuwedeng kung ano ‘yung balasa ni coach Tim, ganun na ‘yun. Kailangan naming mag-adjust,” said Belga.