Meralco's power surge zaps Ginebra

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Meralco's power surge zaps Ginebra

Post by betterhalf on Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:52 pm

Meralco's power surge zaps Ginebra

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

That the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel camp, now powered by a towering frontline to backstop last season's PBA MVP runner-up L.A. Tenorio and former PBA MVP Mark Caguioa, will be demystified right before our very eyes. That the 7"0 Greg Slaughter and vastly improved (nay, more comfortable) 6"9 Japeth Aguilar would be cut down to size and made to look like a collegiate freshmen by a guy dismissed as too unfocused/ temperamental for the pro ranks (Meralco Bolts' 6"7 off season recruit Rabeh Al Hussaini).

For all things said against Bolts' head coach Ryan Gregorio, he and lead assistant Jong Uichico came up with arguably the most brilliant strategy against the previously unbeaten Ginebra team.

On offense, the Bolts played on a tenacious, pack-rat pace that left anyone who wasn't interested in running the whole length of the floor behind. The guys were putting up shots straight off an old arcade game-hit or miss, they were just pushing the tempo and playing their bigs out of the pivot if only to pull Ginebra's bigs out of their comfort zones and rebounding position. During the times wherein the Bolts were forced to play half court, they took advantage of great floor spacing and had their bigs-- Al Hussaini and backup James Sena, working their counterparts by playing smart, big man basketball.

On the defensive end, since the team wasn't exhausting itself in grit-and-grind offensive sets and were pretty much freelancing in the Yeng Guiao "shoot if you're open" context, the Bolts were able to play lockdown. While the previous Ginebra teams were lost in trying to congest the paint by sending in double and triple teams early which L.A. Tenorio has no problems in reading, the Bolts concentrated on stopping Ginebra's point guard first, then clogging the lanes in anticipation of the entry passes.

It didn't help Ginebra that Tenorio, Caguioa and rookie James Forrester were not connecting from the outside which made it easier for the Bolts to focus on their defensive assignments and not help out as much on the perimeter (which made clogging the paint a lot easier).

In one of our mid-game tweets (follow us on we mentioned about how the Bolts couldn't possible sustain this pace and tenacity against Ginebra should they meet in the later rounds (say, a Best-of-Three/Five/Seven affair). Also, Ginebra was probably lulled into complacency given how easy it was for their bigs to dominate the paint-- until last night of course.

With a rejuvenated Jarred Dillinger leading the way alongside a stellar, veteran cast, don't be surprised if the Bolts make a deeper run this conference than expected

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