FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters

If you haven't noticed Rain or Shine's rise to the top, I understand. Baka busy kayo. Maybe it's a hectic month at work. Or there are too many projects to finish in school. We're distracted by other events in the PBA too. Ali Peek was shot. Mark Caguioa expressed disappointment. Ryan Reyes was injured. While we're busy analyzing Pepeng Agimat's incredible family tree, Rain or Shine, unnoticeably and unexpectedly, is busy crushing opponents and winning games. 

Rain or Shine is alone, on top of the team standings, with seven wins and just one loss. The Elasto Painters have won five straight games. Their average winning margin in the last four games: close to 30 points! They beat Alaska by 36. They walloped Meralco by 44 by making 22 out of 32 three-point shots. These are gaudy numbers; enough to make opponents shudder. 
"I think we are just playing very good basketball," Gabe Norwood, who contributes nine points, six rebounds and four assists per game, says. "Everyone is being unselfish and enjoying playing as a team."

In a big game against Barako Bull last November 11, five players scored in double-figures for Rain or Shine (Norwood almost became the sixth with nine points). Their leading scorer Jeff Chan finished with just six. Yet they continue to win. Because Norwood is fine when he tallies more assists and rebounds than points. Because Beau Belga, Larry Rodriguez, Ronnie Matias, Jervy Cruz and JR Quinahan enjoy creating space. Because Ronjay Buenafe and Ryan Arana can smoke defenders too. Because for super rookie Paul Lee, making big shots and delivering nice passes provide the same thrill.

"I'm proud that we are winning games that we used to find a way to lose," Norwood, no longer pressured to make the Batman and Robin combination with former Rain or Shine scorer Sol Mercado work, admits. "Big leads are sustained rather than blown."

Norwood looks more comfortable now. Rain or Shine's success no longer depends on his long-awaited transformation from all-around facilitator into tomahawk-dunking-force-of-nature. Gabe can just be Gabe. He's happy to just play loose, pleased to let other teammates gain attention. It mirrors Rain or Shine's winning style. It's not just about Norwood. Or Lee. Or Chan. Or Yeng.

If you haven't noticed Rain or Shine's rise to the top, don't fret. Baka busy lang tayo. We worry about Ali Peek's health. We wait for Ginebra's youth and experience to blend. Pepeng Agimat continues to baffle us. While Rain or Shine quietly advances to the penthouse suite. These guys, after all, are very, very sneaky. The way Norwood is sneaky-efficient, Chan is sneaky-accurate, Lee is sneaky-sensational and Belga is sneaky-quick. So when Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao decides to hit Shopinas renegade enforcer Ogie Menor with a forearm smash, he's not out to grab headlines for his team. He's simply trying to distract you from the undeniable truth. Rain or Shine is number one. — GMA News


Leave a Reply.

Web Apps