PBA: Rain or Shine shoots for 10th straight win, 2-0 lead vs Petron
MANILA, Philippines - Unbeaten in over a month, the unstoppable Rain or Shine squad will try to follow-up their 103-95 conquest of Petron Blaze in their opener when both teams resume their semifinal battle on Wednesday, January 29 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Petron Blaze meanwhile shall try to comeback and knot the series at one apiece to reduce it to a virtual best-of-5 affair.
(2) Rain or Shine Elasto Painters vs (3) Petron Blaze Boosters
Elasto Painters lead series, 1-0.
GAME 1 RECAP:
What went right for Rain or Shine: The Elasto Painters led by as much as 17 points in the series opener and handled Petron really well in the end game to book the win. Paul Lee starred with 18 points on 10-of-10 free throws in just 21 minutes. Rookies Alex Nuyles and Raymund Almazan came to play, combining for 16 points and 14 rebounds. Four E-Painters finished in double digits to go with a total of 8 players scoring at least 7 markers each. Rain or Shine hit 11 more free throws than the Boosters did, and they also capitalized on 25 Petron turnovers which translated into 24 points for them.
What went wrong for Petron Blaze: June Mar Fajardo (23 points, 15 rebounds), Marcio Lassiter (20 points, 3 triples) and Arwind Santos (20 points, 17 rebounds) did finish with big games but the Boosters failed to draw ample support from their other guys. Chris Lutz was a horrible 1-of-9 from the field while Alex Cabagnot only had 4 points and 2 assists. Also, giving away 25 turnovers is just too much especially in a crucial semifinal battle.
WHAT TO DO:
Rain or Shine: The E-Painters must find a way to limit Petron's shooters again and take them out of their zone. They can live with Fajardo and Santos putting double-doubles but limiting Petron to just 16.7% from downtown is a solid defensive effort for the crew. But they must also convert on their outside bombs, as they shot only 2-of-24 in game one. A good start will be crucial again for them.
Petron Blaze: The Boosters can definitely play better than what they've showed in game 1; they must avoid getting buried into another deep hole. They played catch-up for most of the second half and ran out of time. In the end game, they desperately tried to steal the game by fouling but Coach Yeng Guiao's troops just sealed the deal from the foul line.
Rain or Shine: Raymond Almazan
The third overall draft pick in the 2013 PBA Draft helped the Painters on the defensive end in the first match, grabbing 10 boards in 20 minutes of action. His length would surely be a factor especially in being a presence inside the lane.
Petron Blaze: Chris Lutz
Lutz, one of the finest shooters under Smart Gilas, finished with just a single field goal for 4 points in 27 minutes of action. That is only the second time Lutz failed to hit double-digits in scoring; he is averaging 14.6 PPG in the season. Being able to help on the offensive end is a big plus for the Boosters.
What this game means: Rain or Shine can make it 10 in a row if they can contain Petron once again, and go up for a commanding 2-0 lead. Coach Gee Abanilla's Boosters meanwhile should restore order and do a better job this time to make it even. - Rappler.com