GABE Norwood underscored his importance for Rain or Shine anew as he put up a solid defensive job on import Othyus Jeffers in Rain or Shine’s 102-89 win over Barangay Ginebra in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday.
The Gin Kings import still managed to score 27 points on 8-of-16 shooting, but the defense of Norwood as well as Jireh Ibañes was enough to earn praise from coach Yeng Guiao.
“Gabe and Jireh did an excellent job on the import,” Guiao said. “Jeffers made his points, but they were hard points and he had to bleed for his points and that’s exactly what we wanted.”
Jeffers actually had his fourth-highest scoring output this conference as he made his living through the foul line where he made 10 of his 12 attempts on top of 14 boards and six assists in 43 minutes.
“He made some tough shots and that’s what he’s going to do,” Norwood said. “My role on my team is to try to make him work. That’s all I can do. These guys are so good offensively that they’re going to make tough shots and make me look dumb once in a while.”
“But as long as they’re working hard for it, then I’m doing my job,” the former Defensive Player of the Year added. “Jireh did a great a job in the two games in the series also.”
Jeffers admitted he had to adjust to the E-Painters’ suffocating defense.
“That's Rain or Shine,” the prolific import said. “They just don't guard me like that, they guard everybody like that. It's their team, I had to adjust to what they are doing.”
“But at the same time, I'm in a triangle offense. It's a lot of things going in my head,” he was quick to add. “I wasn't too much worried about them. I was more worried on getting my teammates involved. In my head, I think I can score against anybody, but I had to deal with my teammates' confidence and things like that.”