Williams, Yeo and Espino: SLR's Offensive Trio Needs Help

On: 22 November 2008

Williams, yeo and Espino

After this year’s draft, one might think that the Realtors have chosen picks that will allow its primary offensive players some rest on the bench to recharge their batteries and win games. However, Kelly Williams, Joseph Yeo and Dennis Espino are spending more time on the floor than they did last season.

Williams’ minutes are up from 36.6 per game last season to 39.9. Yeo's and Espino's game exposure also went up from 23.5 and 26.28 during the 2007-2008 Philippine Cup to 25.3 and 29.6, respectively.

The problem is that more playing time does not necessarily translate to more points produce. With the exception of Yeo, Williams' and Espino's average points per game dropped from 16.7 and 11.1 to 14.0 and 10.6, respectively. This might not be significant at this time, but exposing their bodies to more bumping and grinding under the boards will eventually take their toll on their spirits.

What is worse for the team is when the three players will take it upon themselves not to pass the chance to shoot the ball and try to force their shots even when they have less probability of making it. Unfortunately, this seems to be what is going on with the Realtors.

After 10 games in the 2008-2009 PBA Philippine Cup, Williams, Yeo and Espino have already taken 379 shots at the basket. This translates to 47.4 percent of the team’s total shots. Williams had the most number of shots taken at 148, followed by Yeo with 118 and Espino with 113.

Taking more shots at the basket is not necessarily bad for the team. Shooting less than 35 percent of the shots is.

Williams averaged only 33.64 percent from the 2-point area and a measly 17.1 percent from beyond the arc. That is a big drop from the 48.6 percent and 30.4 percent from those same areas last season.

Espino did not fare well either. He shot 33.9 percents from the shaded area and 100 percent from the 3 point line. The 3-point shooting percentage of Espino is not something that will change the world for the Realtors since he only took one attempt and made it. Last season, Espino shot 44.8 percent from 2-point area.

The only exception so far is again Yeo. He may be taking a lot of shots lately, but this is because his percentages from the floor are improving. Last season he averaged 38.8 percent from the 2-point area and 24.9 percent from beyond the arc, but in this conference, he averaged 41.4 percent and 32.3 percent, respectively, from those same areas.

In general though, the big three are shooting more and shooting worse.

Perhaps it is just fatigue. The Realtors are not getting younger and the more athletic rookies this season are much harder to guard compared to the same bunch last year.

Perhaps it is just a slump. Ten games is really a small sample size.

Perhaps rookies Kelvin Gregorio and Chito Jaime need to step up now more than ever. A sixth man who can take some of the load off the starters and give quality minutes down the stretch of games is invaluable.

Whatever it is, Williams, Yeo and Espino desperately need somebody from the bench to help take part of the the scoring load from them.

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