PBA Fastbreak: Beermen, Barako imports come up big
The Best: Josh Dollard is an early leader for the conference’s Best Import citation. He has been on a friggin’ tear for the unheralded Barako Bull Energy Cola. After scoring 45 points in a loss to the Ginebra Gin Kings this past Friday, Dollard dropped 44 markers on the Elasto-Painters last night. He has shot 31/58 overall from the field and 24/30 from the line. (READ: PBA: No hero ball for Barako Bull import Dollard)
Again, take that in the proper context — he has shot 29 FG attempts and 15 FT attempts on the average! In addition, he has also grabbed 18.5 boards per game and blocked 4 shots in total. He’s potentially the most all-around dominant player out there, and, should he be consistent and remain healthy, he might just be good enough to single-handedly tow this Barako five to the next round of the conference.
The Worst: In contrast, ROS reinforcement Alex McLean shot just 33% from the floor, including 1/5 from beyond the arc. he did grab 16 rebounds, but making just a third of one’s field goals just won’t cut it for an import in this league. Needless to say, the New York product has to shoot much better for the Painters to bounce back from this loss. The same goes for the other guys on Yeng Guiao’s crew — the locals shot just 8/28 or just 29% from three-point land. The chief culprits were Gabe Norwood and Chris Tiu, who paired up for 2/9 three-point shooting.
Miller Time: Willie Miller is definitely an over-the-hump type, but the two-time MVP can still drop some impressive outings here and there. In this encounter, the former Letran Knight shot 7/13 from the floor to score 19 points on top of 8 rebounds and 5 assists. More than MIller’s numbers, however, the Energy Cola need his leadership to really push this squad from an also-ran into a quarterfinal contender. They have a dominant import and some promising young guys, too, so who knows what can happen, right?
The Best: Props to Josh Boone, who is on his way out despite dropping 32 and 21 against the vaunted Ginebra frontcourt. The former UConn Husky and New Jersey Net is set to be replaced by Kevin Jones, but he still played well enough to help SMB blow out the Gin Kings. Boone was ultra-efficient here, hitting 13/19 from the floor, handing out 3 assists, and blocking 2 shots. A part of me feels a little disappointed we’ve seen the last of this import. Maybe if SMB had been a bit more patient, he could have really developed into a game-changer for the Beermen.
The Worst: So, Japeth Aguilar played just 16 minutes, producing 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 fouls. He didn’t score till the fourth quarter. It didn’t seem as if he was injured, too. So what was that? Has he regressed into the tentative non-threat from two seasons ago? I certainly hope not. C’mon, big fella. You have a shot at becoming one of the best players this season, so seize it!
San Miguel Sol Train: Sol Mercado had a good outing for the Beermen here, shooting 50% from the field to finish with 14 points in a back-up role. Mercado also had 4 assists and 2 steals in an impressive outing. Whereas Chris Ross provided top-notch playmaking as one of the starters, Mercado came off the pine to provide a much-needed scoring spark. If he can be consistent with this kind of production, then don’t be surprised if SMB skyrockets to the top of the standings by the end of the elims. - Rappler.com