THE physicality for which Rain or Shine has been known for was obviously lacking at the start of the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs Monday night.
And Barangay Ginebra was quick to pounce on it.
Coach Caloy Garcia thought the Elasto Painters were not active enough against the Kings – especially on the defensive side - that led to their 88-80 loss in Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinals series at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Garcia lamented the team’s failure to exert the same effort it did during its 100-92 triple overtime loss against the Kings last Friday at the end of the all-Filipino conference’s elimination round.
Considering this is the playoffs, the Rain or Shine coach expects the Elasto Painters to step on the gas and take their plays to an even higher level.
“We lacked effort and we came in soft,” admitted Garcia as Rain or Shine trails Ginebra 0-1 in the series.
“We have to be more physical. Scottie (Thompson) has been physical on the boards,” he said in reference to the sophomore Ginebra guard. “And if the referees are allowing that then I told them, then we have to do the same thing, to be more physical against them.”
Thompson equaled the rebound output of Rain or Shine’s big men with 16 boards – not to mention scoring 14 points and dishing off seven assists – as Beau Belga, Jay Washington, Jewel Ponferada, and Raymund Almazan also had the same numbers combined.
Heck, Almazan was even held to just a single rebound and scoreless in 12 minutes of play.
“I told the players hindi naman kami ang naglalaro so the effort should come from them,” said Garcia. “I think we have to be a little bit more physical.”
Game Two is set Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in a virtual do-or-die game for the Elasto Painters.
Garcia however, is taking a positive stance as far as his team’s situation is concerned.
“I just told the players, it’s not yet over. We’re playing one of the best teams in the league, and we’re still keeping everything positive right now,” he said.
“Whatever happens, we just have to fight hard. Hindi naman kami bibitaw.”