Statmatsing of the Day - May 4, 2011

As per Chrisangelo Jacinto, May the 4th be with you


Poor executions down the stretch caused the Barangay Ginebra Kings to squander a 17-point lead en route to a 91-84 loss in Game 4 of their best-of-7-finals against the Talk N Text Tropang Texters.

One more loss and they’re done for.

In the first half, the Tropang Texters looked lost with Willie Miller and Ronald Tubid putting in good numbers. Before this game the two were scoring a combined less than six points in the finals because Jong Uichico was using Mark Caguioa more and John Wilson was outplaying the other slashers. Also, Tubid looked lost in the SF position especially whenever Ranidel de Ocampo and Paul Harris slides to the SF spot.

In the second half though, the Texters came out smoking. They erased the lead and made a lead of their own thanks to Harris and Ginebra’s love for the three-point area.

Speaking of Caguioa, The Spark is the best local performer of the night as he scored 15 points, came out with 4 rebounds and 4 steals, and also had 2 assists. Tubid and Miller were the other players in the Top 5. Finishing off the list are Jason Castro and Jimmy Alapag. While Jimmy Alapag is deserving of the Best Player of the Conference award for leading the Tropang Texters to their wicked win-loss record, Mark Caguioa seriously stepped in this conference – often working his magic all by his lonesome and also putting a premium on defense.

I also think Paul Harris should have won the Best Import Award because Nate Brumfield has serious mood issues. When Ginebra was on top, Harris was held to four points compared to Brumfield’s nine. In the second half though, Harris dominated for the Texters. Brumfield looked lost and he became frustrated when the ball was not going to his favor and usually when that happens, it’s not well for the Kings. Harris played better ball than Brumfield with Harris leading in points (26 to 15), assists (1-0), blocks (1-0), and had more field goal attempts and attempts made (9/18 to 6/11).

The only advantage Brumfield had was rebounds with his 15 trumping Harris’ 10.

The Harris warpath and the Brumfield falter was the gamechanger though.

Ginebra dominates games when Brumfield is happy. Harris likes his teammates while Brumfield likes his team only when they win. Whenever you see Brumfield getting mad and whenever he becomes distracted... he self-destructs. In an instant, his team falters. As an import, the defense will automatically collapse on Brumfield. TNT is great in pushing Nate to his weak spot but sometimes it’s Brumfield’s fault. Unless Ginebra has two bigs operating at the shaded area, Brumfield has no business getting the ball even at 15 feet. Whenever Brumfield tries to go to the backcourt territory, it’s almost sure that TNT will get the board.

Rebounding against Talk N Text is tough. In Game 4, Brumfield, Caguioa, Tubid, Miller, and Rudy Hatfield had four or more rebounds. For the Texters, Harris, Castro, Ranidel, Alapag, Ali Peek, Larry Fonacier, Kelly Williams, and Harvey Carey scored four or more!


The reason why TNT gets more rebounds is because of Ginebra’s shot selections. The Kings would rely heavily on their long range bombs and if TNT had an awful 3-point scoring night with 5-out-of-17, Ginebra had a more horrific scoring spree at 7-of-26. There were times that the Kings would just throw the ball to the rim with no form what’s-so-ever. In the critical stage where TNT was on a tear, instead of penetrations, the Kings settled for troikas. It was a bad decision because TNT was dominating in the rebounding department. Perhaps those gigantic walls are also the reasons why the Kings’ scorers couldn’t penetrate but it doesn’t seem they are trying to fish for fouls as the Texters drew more fouls, 23 to 14.

Brumfield must learn to perform well under pressure. He must also try his best to put his foes in foul trouble. Ginebra has to keep in mind that TNT has zero respect for Brumfield’s jumpers which is why the only way Brumfield can help the squad is by performing well in the interior. Uichico can’t be blamed for giving Miller, Tubid, and Caguioa 30 minutes and more. All of these guys are star players and should play strong at this juncture. However, the importance of the shock troopers was further realized when they were breaking down. I can see JC Intal, Rob Lagabala, Jimbo Aquino, and Wilson acting as bonershrinkers to stop whatever run TNT would be doing. The Kings has been getting adequate production from Mike Cortez, Hatfield, Eric Menk, and Willy Wilson. Perhaps it’s time for Uichico to insert Billy Mamaril and Yancy de Ocampo, who fared well against Marcus Douthit in the Gins’ series against Smart-Gilas.

Talk N Text is a win away from a serious vie to a grand slam.

Has anyone noticed the power of TNT’s bench is so strong that this is the first time I’ve ever spoken of Ryan Reyes?

Definitely TNT has the guns and Ginebra needs the means to stop them.

Game over.


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