GABE Norwood admitted it’s Rain or Shine’s own fault - and not San Miguel Beer’s defense - that limited import Wendell McKines’ touches in the second half of the team’s 114-108 loss in Game Three of their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series on Monday night.
After exploding for 53 points in Game Two, McKines still came up with 39 markers in 44 minutes, although he was held to just 15 in the second half when the Beermen tightened up their zone defense.
The Elasto Painters’ wingmen reacted and took advantage of the gaps as Norwood buried two triples and scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter.
“I feel bad for Wendell,” Norwood said. “He got off to a good start. But we kind of took the ball out of his hands ourselves. That’s on us.”
“We settled for threes,” the versatile forward added. “Actually that’s what they want us to take, but at the same time, we don’t have to take what they’re giving us. We can force the issue and make plays.”
Norwood recounted how they managed to feed the ball inside to their hulking import even in the face of the zone.
“A couple of times, he did get it inside and got an easy basket.”
“That’s on us to be smarter and realize that this guy is shooting eighty percent from the field and we’ll take our chances with him,” he added.
The stats line will bear McKines out.
The Rain or Shine import ended up with an efficient performance by making 12-of-14 shots, including 2-of-2 from three-point range, on top of 13-of-14 from the foul line, along with 12 boards, three assists, one steal, and one block.
Had they forced the issue down low, the Painters could’ve also pounded the ball against June Mar Fajardo, who was already in trouble with five personal fouls.
“We didn’t make them pay,” Norwood said.