SLR 97, TnT 87

On: 30 October 2007

PBA Phil CupThe papers aptly described it as a game where the Realtors got tired of losing in the closing minutes and made sure that they break the trend this time. Leading most of the time after the tip-off in the first quarter, the Realtors showed inspired basketball all throughout the game except for some scary moments in the closing of third and fourth quarters. The usually lackluster plays of Marlou Aquino were replaced by a gritty stand and aggressive scoring mentality. The pathetic rebounding of Kelly Williams in the first two games was replaced by an array of high-flying moves under the basket.

Despite the win though, the usual drawbacks are still evident, such as the low percentage from the stripe, poor shot selection from Paolo Mendoza and penchant for turning the ball over. We will try to analyze these shortcomings of the Realtors together with the other facets of the game and find out why the Realtors still won.

Rebounding Woes Continue

In all three games of the Realtors, the opponents always find ways to grab more rebounds compared to the team. Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants, Magnolia Beverage Masters and Talk N Text Phone Pals averaged 56.7 rebounds compared to the Realtors pathetic 46.7 rebounds for a ten-rebounds-per-game difference. In the game against the Phone Pals, the Realtors were still out-rebounded by as as many as ten rebounds, 53 as against 63, but unlike in the previous two games, this is the first time that the Realtors grabbed more than 50 rebounds in a game. This could be taken as an ominous sign in the coming games and put more pressure on Kelly Williams and Nelbert Omolon to out-jump and out-position their opponents for the ball and try t reach that 50 rebounds mark.

Freethrow Misses Again and Again

The Realtors could not seem to get over this weakness since the start of the 33rd PBA Conference and makes their fans wonder where did it all started because this was not a big problem in the previous years. In fact, their lone championship in 2001 can be attributed to the high freethrow percentages from Dennis Espino and Paolo Mendoza against the San Miguel Beerman (previous name of the Magnolia Beverage Masters). Fortunately for the Realtors, the Phone Pals are more atrocious from the line by shooting only 62.1 percents against the Realtors 64.0 percent. However, in a closely fought match and against a high-percentage freethrow shooting team, the Realtors probably doe not stand a chance of winning unless they make the necessary adjustments now.

Steal that Ball

In the previous two games of the Realtors, the Giants and Beverage Masters are more aggressive in anticipating their opponents passing lanes and in trapping the player handling the ball. It allowed both teams to steal the ball 10 and 9 times respectively compared to only 7.5 steals for the Realtors. Against the Phone Pals, the Realtors step on the gas and stole 14 from the Phone Pals. Dennis Miranda showed his quick hands by stealing 4, while Norman Gonzalez added 3 more steals.

Mendoza’s Hot Hands

There is no doubt that Paolo Mendoza is the Realtors designated hitman from the outside. However, this does not mean that he should shoot the ball from beyond the arc even when he not squared to do so. In the game against the Giants and the Beverage Masters, Mendoza’s percentage from the arc is only 25 percent. This is way below the average of the other team’s designated shooters. Fortunately for the Realtors, Mendoza’s hands waxed hot against the Phone Pals and had a whooping 40 shooting percentage from downtown. However, to carry the team beyond the elimination to the semis, he better heed the example of the one and only triggerman, Allan Caidic, which is to continue practicing even after the game and to choose your shots wisely.

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