Unconvincing SLR Wins

On: 15 January 2010

Joseph Yeo

Usually, when the Sta. Lucia Realtors' put together winning streak, one can easily look at the numbers and see a significant improvement on either side of the ball. Perhaps they start clicking offensively or tighten things up on the defensive end.

Sometimes with a streak, a particular player gets hot or a change was made with the rotation. If not, then maybe it was just a soft schedule.

But the SLR wins was really a mixed bag. More of an illusion than a fluke. There were defensive wins and there were offensive wins. No player consistently stepped up and they have not beaten any good teams (San Miguel Beermen, Alaska Aces, Talk 'N' Text Phone Pals and even Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs).

Their average points per game is 78.38, while their opponents average 78.31 against them. The average margin of 0.07 in 16 games is nothing to be proud of. The Realtors' last four wins were won by a margin of 4.75. They are now 2 games above .500, but after their lost to the Aces they are out of the running for an automatic semis seat.

Late-game execution is nice, but consistency is better. The Realtors has not won any of the last quarters they played in those 7 losses that they have accumulated. There were pockets of execution here and there, but nothing close to 48 minutes of good basketball.

The numbers indicate that the 9 games they have won so far was somewhat of a fluke because they were not against the top two teams in the league. And that was confirmed when the they lost to the Aces last 13 January 2010 after scoring only 14 in the first quarter and 17 in the last quarter. They basically played only 2 good quarters of basketball against one of the best teams.

A look at the standings right now shows 4 teams with realistic shots at an automatic semis berth, with perhaps only the Beermen locked to take one of the two seats available. The Realtors currently stand in 6th place, just a game behind the fifth place Phone Pals.

But even if the Realtors maintain the 0.07 point differential over their succeeding games, that would still be not enough to give them a better chance in the quarters. Again, it must be taken into account that all the wins of the team were against those with worse record that them, except the two wins against Ginebra.

The Realtors have the talent to be a dangerous team. Kelly Williams is a top-five player in the league, Joseph Yeo has proven he can carry them offensively at times, and Ryan Reyes can be a defensive anchor.

But the team have been in a steep decline on both sides of the ball since this season began. Their core needs to be beefed up because Chris Pacana is no Denok Miranda and Gabby Espinas does not have the body of Dennis Espino. And the numbers say that their run of success is more illusion than reality.

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