Former Best Import Robert Dozier registered a new PBA career-high 41 points, but his impeccable field goal shooting couldn’t prevent Alaska from falling to Rain or Shine, 105-97 in their Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup opening game at the Big Dome.
The 6-foot-8 Dozier took advantage of his length as he shot over Rain or Shine’s defenders with relative ease to finish Game 1 with an astounding 18-of-22 from the field.
Rain or Shine though negated Dozier’s hot shooting night with a concerted effort from Paul Lee, Jericho Cruz, Beau Belga and Gabe Norwood.
“You can’t start off the Finals like that,” Dozier told media men after the match.
“I think in the first 4 minutes of the game, we just played without thinking and they took advantage of it right there.”
The 30-year-old Dozier said they will have to do a better job defensively to make sure Rain or Shine’s perimeter gunners won’t be able to wreak havoc from the three-point zone.
With the Aces a step late at times on their defensive rotation, the Elasto Painters were able to knock down 14 three-point shots in the Finals opening game.
“We’ll just try to get better and play for 4 quarters. For some reason, we had some lapses and most of the time, it cost us the game,” said the former Memphis Tiger.
Dozier said it didn’t matter if he had a far better Finals debut against Rain or Shine import Pierre Henderson-Niles, his college teammate, who was held down to just 6 points.
Th wide-bodied Henderson-Niles only took 7 attempts, though he was able to haul down 13 rebounds, add 3 steals and a block in 34 minutes of action.
“It’s not an individual battle, it’s about the team,” he said.
“He (Henderson-Niles) might have a bad game but they won. I had a good game but we lost.” – By Richard Dy
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