PUTTING the clamps on one-half of GlobalPort’s two-headed monster doesn’t guarantee a win anymore.
Meralco found that out on Friday night when the Bolts neutralized Stanley Pringle, yet still came out on the wrong end of a 97-89 decision in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup.
While Batang Pier superstar Terrence Romeo delivered as usual with 27 points in 38 minutes, Pringle, who came in averaging 17.3 points, was held to just nine markers on just eight attempts in 35 minutes – the first time he was held to single-digit scoring this season.
Bolts star guard Chris Newsome aced his personal defensive assignment on Pringle, but lamented their team defense on the rest of the Batang Pier.
“For us, it was about shutting down other guys, because we knew Terrence was going to come out and score,” Newsome said. “So, of course, we wanted to limit Stan … he was below his average, but what hurt us was a lot of other guys got above their average, so it kind of defeated the purpose of the game plan.”
After all, Nino Canaleta, Mike Cortez, Billy Mamaril, and JR Quinahan scored in twin digits, while Aaron Aban contributed nine points as the Batang Pier snapped a two-game losing streak.
Newsome believes the balanced effort comes from Romeo becoming a more willing passer, making him an even deadlier offensive player.
Romeo, the league leader in assists this season, had five against the Bolts.
“Yeah, of course (he’s deadlier), because it keeps you on your toes a lot more,” Newsome said of Romeo. “You can’t just hard show or you can’t double-team him, because he is a willing passer, so he’ll make the right play majority of the time, and that comes down to playing team defense in order to stop somebody like that.”