GABE Norwood stressed his return to his natural position hardly affected Rain or Shine as a team in the Elasto Painters’ 87-80 loss to Alaska in Game One of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series on Thursday night.
After playing almost exclusively at power forward off the bench in the second half of the elimination round in lieu of then injured Jervy Cruz, the Elasto Painters’ utility went back to his usual small forward spot and started against the Aces.
Norwood scored six points - missing all his three three-point attempts and grabbing five boards in 27 minutes - numbers within his conference averages of 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds.
But those stats were a bit below his norms in the last five games of the elims - all wins - where he averaged nine points and 7.4 rebounds (2.4 offensive) as a substitute in the absence of Cruz.
Norwood, however, attributed the dip to the breaks of the game, instead of which position he’s more effective at.
“It could’ve been a whole (different) game if we had come out and hit a couple of shots and we won and everybody would say, ‘I should just stay at the three,’” he told Spin.ph after the game.
“So it’s game by game,” he added. “No two games are the same, so the coaches are going to make that decision.”
The 6-foot-5 swingman admitted he was getting used to being a stretch four.
“Mentally, it’s a little different,” he said. “I was kind of enjoying the four (spot) a little bit. But at the same time, I guess that’s a blessing to be kind of versatile to kind of go back and play the three.”
“Biggest thing now is just getting more confidence in picking my spots a little bit better,” added Norwood, who made just three of 12 shots from the field. “And I think I’ll be fine. I’m not too worried about it.”
Even as a small forward, Norwood has to rebound like he was back at power forward as the Aces outrebounded the Elasto Painters, 59-48.
“We only won one game this conference on rebounding and we’re still in second place,” he said. “But we definitely want to focus on that. If we win rebounding, chances are we’re going to win a game.”