AFTER seeing Eric Dawson cut loose for 57 points in Meralco's 102-92 win over Petron on Friday night, Barangay Ginebra knows they have to find ways to stop the prolific import to have a chance against the Bolts.
The Gin Kings, however, are ready, assures Chris Ellis.
“Yeah, I watched him play on Friday and I think he’s (Dawson) really a good player," said the high-flying rookie ahead of their match-up against Meralco on Sunday.
"It’s kind of obvious what their (Bolts) offense is doing, but I’m confident our big guys will also do a good job on him defensively,” Ellis added.
Dawson was simply unstoppable against Petron, making 20 of 34 shots from the field and 17 of 22 from the foul line in the highest individual output seen in the league since Sta. Lucia import Derrick Brown scored 57 in the 2004 Fiesta Conference in a 99-120 loss to San Miguel Beer.
Unlike in the Boosters’ game where Dawson had a lot of good, open looks from the perimeter, Ellis said Ginebra's primary goal is to deny him the ball and step up the pressure.
“We’re looking at giving him different looks on defense, but again, we just need to do a good job of denying him the ball,” he added.
Dawson may be too fast for Ginebra import Vernon Macklin, making it imperative for Rico Maierhofer to be healthy for the game to beef a phalanx of local big men that will most likely take on the job of trying to stop the Meralco import.
Ellis said he’s more than ready to defend the 6’9” Meralco import if ever the switch on defense forces him to face Dawson.
“I’m ready to defend him. I know he’s good at protecting the ball with his body. But I’ve been studying a lot of his games. We’ll just try to stay in front of him,” added this season’s sixth pick overall in the draft.