Here’s a quick post to talk about what struck me most re SMB’s 89-86 win over Ginebra tonight.
SMB’s offensive resilience – Less than a minute left, Coach Agustin designed a very specific offensive set which quickly went awry after Ginebra suddenly sprang a zone. At situations like that, every player involved had their thoughts still set on executing the planned play, so when the situation suddenly turns different a lot of teams would fall apart in some way, usually via some superstar player deciding to take matters into his own hands. Instead they executed a perfect passing play which left Cabagnot open at the left wing for one of his, ho-hum, dagger threes (at least I think it was a three. I may be mistaken).
That, ladies and gents, is teamwork and basketball smarts at work. Not only did one or two players ‘get it’, but all of them came into position to set Cabagnot up. The way to beat a zone is by outside shooting so they figured out a way to get a guard free to take that shot, and shoot he did.
Ginebra deserved to lose: – While SMB showed flashes of brilliance, Ginebra gets ahead mostly on the amazing play of individuals. Granted, I love the way Coach Ujuico springs traps and surprises, but for the most part his team looks in shambles when the pressure starts to cook, and they do not execute as a team. At an instance when they needed to score, the ball ended up in Menk’s hands with other offensive options well guarded by SMB. He clearly didn’t look like he wanted it nor that the plan was for it to end up with him, and when he decided to go for it anyway, it was easily swiped away because he was too far from the ring. A guy like him needs to be only 2 or 3 steps away to keep him from having to dribble so much, and they looked like they fell into Agustin’s defensive plan right there.
Overall BGK played almost heroically well, as well as a highly motivated group of talented individuals could. But as a sports lover and a fan of the game you want the better team to move on, and that’s exactly what happened tonight.
Arwind “Offensive Rebounding” Santos: – Offensive rebounding is Arwind Santos’ middle name. I don’t know what it really is, but he should change it to that immediately. I’m not a big fan of his jumpshooting. To be frank, he was having a hell of a hard time getting points up against the smaller Tubid, who guarded him like a true Spiderman should. But when it comes to getting it off the glass for 2nd chance points? There is just no one better than this guy. In fact, there was a point (quite clearly missed by Sarmienta and Webb), where he came out of nowhere to rebound a teammate’s missed freethrow – a rare situation and a very costly one for the defense which literally looked like idiots standing there watching with their mouths agape.
In this game, Arwind sealed the deal via yet another offensive rebound off of Caguioa’s intentional miss on his 2nd freethrow try with in the dying seconds. I couldn’t think of a more apt way to finish this game. The guy is a monster off the boards and sealing the deal via his trademark move adds great drama to their win. Sort of like when Voltes V finishes off a Bozanian monster via the laser sword, or when the Karate Kid gets the final point via his crane kick. It’s corny to end it any other way.
‘WINEBRA’: – I saw a fan holding up a sign with the words ‘WINEBRA’ on it. First thing I thought was ‘wow, someone actually took some time to think of something interesting other than the usual ‘never say die’, etc.’. I’m sorry if I sound like I’m insulting the general populace of PBA fans for not being creative enough to express themselves in more interesting ways, but I think the general populace of PBA fans are not being creative enough to express themselves in more interesting ways. While fans abroad are coming up with amazing stuff like this:
The standard way local fans express themselves over here is a lot of this:
Before you say anything, let me qualify a few things.
Don’t tell me it’s unfair to compare because people abroad are better equipped or smarter or anything. We are just as smart, just as creative, just as educated, just as capable.
And don’t tell me there aren’t any idiot NBA fans either. You just need to visit Youtube to confirm that isn’t true. It’s just that.. the lack of creativity is frustrating, really.
I’m guessing maybe its because no one cares enough. Hopefully the way the PBA’s finally gaining some respect that can change.