The Bolts will need more from these sharpshooters if they are to challenge the champs.
The Bolts were struggling miserably to get anything going in Game 1. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Just imagine how Shaquille O' Neal's free throw shooting was especially during his stint with the Los Angeles Lakers and compare it with the 3-point shooting of the entire Meralco Bolts team in Game 1 of the best-of-7 championship series between the Bolts and the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings and, tell this basketball pundit what exactly did you see.
From one point of view, the Bolts' outrageous shooting, especially from the rainbow country during their defeat in Game 1, is what will doom them if they cannot fix that flaw. And let's face it, with the tremendous disadvantage that the players of Norman Black are facing against the giants of Ginebra which was one of the reasons why Meralco struggled to attack the basket, the other alternative which Meralco could have employed to score was to make it rain from deep and, they failed it. Horribly.
If you want to see and understand how unacceptable the Bolts were performing from the outside in Game 1 which made Norman Black really mad, let's check out the numbers that were produced by two of Meralco's sharpshooters, Jared Dillinger and Ranidel De Ocampo:
1 of 9 from three-point line
Ranidel De Ocampo:
0 of 4 from the three-point line
Dillinger and RDO combined for 14 points and 1 of 13 shooting from beyond the arc. If not to Allen Durham's 27 points who also missed all of his 5 attempts from that specific area, the final margin would have been much bigger.
If the Meralco Bolts want to avenge last year's Finals loss that they endured from the hands of Justin Brownlee and the rest of the Gin Kings, Dillinger and RDO will need to perform exactly like they did during the Bolts' 3-game sweep of the Star Hotshots in their semifinal series particularly during Game 3 when the Hotshots came close to forcing a Game 4 if not to the timely made treys by both shooters especially in the 4th quarter and in the extra period.
Below are the numbers of both Dillinger and RDO in clinching Game 3 against the Hotshots:
2 of 4 from the three-point line
2 of 7 from the three-point line
See? The Bolts had better chances whenever both Jared Dillinger and Ranidel De Ocampo were making more of their attempts from deep rather than missing most of their shots. Why? If both guys fail to figure it out to make it rain instead of shooting bricks as if they are Dwight Howard, then it will be a short series after all.
Keep in mind, folks: Justin Brownlee can make it rain, too- as we all saw last year at the end of Game 6. In short, for the Bolts to be able to keep up with Ginebra, they can start by making more threes rather than taking shots and clanking them.
In other words, take smarter shots, right?