IF his massive job wasn’t enough on Wednesday night, can Ricardo Rattlife still do better for Star to stay alive in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series against San Miguel Beer?
The Hotshots import has been a virtual one-man wrecking crew the past two games, collecting 35 rebounds and 25 points in Game Two before pouring in 44 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks, and one steal in 47 minutes and 10 seconds of play in Game Three.
Both games, however, ended up in Star losses.
Yet he doesn’t mind carrying an even heavier load – as long as the Hotshots, as a unit, lessen their turnovers after committing 24 compared to SMB’s eight errors in the 111-110 decision in Game Three on Wednesday night.
“Yeah, I think so,” Ratliffe said in a chat with SPIN.ph after practice a day after the loss, reacting to coach Chito Victolero’s statement that is still wasn’t his best game yet. “I might have to (produce more), so we’ll see.”
Does he need to drop 50 points for the Hotshots to get back on the winning track in Game Four on Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena?
“I don’t know. I’m going to try,” Ratliffe said. “I’m pretty sure they’re going to be locked in on me now because I played so well last game, so it’s going to be a lot harder, but I’m still going to do my best.”
“(We just have to) stop turning the ball over so much,” he was quick to add. “We just got to take better care of the ball, and everything else is fine.”
Asked if he needs more help from the locals, the 6-foot-8 workhorse instead requested better ball handling from the entire team.
“We just got to take better care of the ball, that’s it,” Ratliffe said. “We lost by one point. We beat them in assists, rebounds, we beat them in everything except for turnovers, so that’s what we got to do.”
Victolero can already see the locals providing Ratliffe ample support with Paul Lee contributing 21 points off the bench in Game Three after being held to just three points on 1-of-8 shooting in the previous encounter.
“Nandun na yung contribution ng locals eh,” Victolero said. “Kaya lang napapansin ngayon dahil talo kami and it’s a high-scoring game. But if it’s a low-scoring game, pabor sa amin yun.”