RAIN or Shine still has two chances to make the PBA Philippine Cup Finals, but Gabe Norwood admits it won’t come easy, especially against a San Mig Coffee side that has come alive in their best-of-seven series Saturday night.
Their backs against the wall, the Mixers played their best as they defended the paint better behind big men Marc Pingris and Rafi Reavis to hack out a 79-67 win in Game 5 Saturday, cutting the Elasto Painters’ series lead to 3-2.
Norwood credited the Mixers’ effective interior defense that forced them to take a lot of bad shots from the perimeter.
“We played hard but we just didn’t finish the way we wanted to,” Norwood told Spin.ph after the game.
“Ping and Joe (Devance), Rafi, these guys came out strong in the second half. They did a good job clogging the lanes and forcing us to take a lot of shots from the outside,” added the athletic 6-foot-5 Rain or Shine guard.
Norwood said one key adjustment the Elasto Painters will have to make come Game 6 is the need to attack the basket as much as they can.
“In this game, we just shot 14 free throws and we were settling on outside shots. We weren’t aggressive getting to the basket that’s why we missed something like six in a row (in the fourth quarter),” explained Norwood.
The Elasto Painters will take a break on Sunday but regroup for team practice on Monday to plot their next move as they prepare for Game 6 on January 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena.