More than 16, 000 fans witnessed a thrilling Manila Clasico battle Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After a big 3rd quarter, Star wasted a 6-point lead midway through the final canto to fall to their 4th loss in 5 games. What went wrong for the Hotshots? We count the ways.
1. Super Bowles was not that super
He struggled with his shot, hitting only 6 of 18 attempts and he finished with subpar numbers of 15 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Those numbers were way below his averages coming into this game (29 ppg and 14 rpg).
Now, Bowles’s stats could have been okay but Othyus Jeffers (23 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists) thoroughly outplayed him. The Hotshots and their fans probably did not expect that.
2. Too many turnovers
The Hotshots tried to play at a fast pace and that resulted into too many turnovers. They tallied 20 errors while Ginebra only had 13. Consequently, Star got outscored 6-14 in points off turnovers. Furthermore, the Hotshots should have had the advantage in fast break points but Ginebra also edged them in that department 7-6. The Star Hotshots missed 3-4 layups in transition and that definitely contributed to this loss.
3. Rotations/substitution patterns were not ideal
Mark Barroca torched Ginebra during the 3rd quarter with 14 points. Barroca actually outscored the Kings during that period.
However, Webb decided to rest Barroca to start the 4th period and that backfired because Ginebra came roaring back when Barroca sat. Another rotation question concerns Allein Maliksi. This guy was hot from the field, making all 3 of this shots and he had 9 points. Maliksi is their leading local scorer for the conference but he only played less than 16 minutes.
This loss by the Hotshots will hurt. They had the lead in the 4th but could not close the deal. More questions and doubts will float around their team because of this game. Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra should use this win as a catapult to greater things because if they lose their next 2 games (Mahindra, Alaska), then their comeback win in Manila Clasico will be long forgotten. — By Rolly Mendoza