Can I Say Out-Coached?
February 11, 2007 by Benjie Cruz
Down by two with 24 seconds to go, Ginebra called for time. Jong Uichicoâ€™s plan was an iso for Mark Caguioa. Bethume (canâ€™t spell his surname) interjected something, saying that surely Mark Caguioa will be denied by the SMB. His brilliant suggestion was for somehow Raffy Reavis to get the ball and act as the conduit. What was never discussed in their huddle was the possibility of SMB making it a foul shooting contest the rest of the way. What happened? Bulaga! SMB intentionally fouled Reavis. A less than 60% FT shooter during ordinary days. Naturally, he is susceptible to miss in heavy days, heavy periods, crunchier situations. And he did miss, 0-2. An intelligent ploy by Chot Reyes. Reyes â€“ 1, Uichico â€“ 0.
After Reavis missed the free throws, Ginebra wasn’t doomed with Danny Seigle and Wilson missing free throws. With enough time, they could have easily tied the game or better, win it with a three point shot. But what was the play of Ginebra? There was Macapagal running out of control (almost a dribbling violation then almost an offensive foul) then passing to Hatfield then passing to the suddenly, three-point shooting Raffy Reavis (who, just seconds ago canâ€™t make a 15 footer with no defender). Does Uichico have a ready play in such situations? This is his job, he should have. From the looks of it, Ginebra doesn’t have or at least, they were not taught and trained to be ready in panic moments.
Plus, what I donâ€™t like with Uichico is his abrupt time-outs. He is killing Ginebra momentum for must-make points. As if his Xs-Os will truly be executed. At one point, he called a time-out only to set Billy Mamaril for one-on-one low post expedition. Thatâ€™s the â€œAre You Kiddin Meâ€ play of the night.
Jason Webb was correct in saying that Raffy Reavis, though agile, isn’t really a perimeter defender. A simple fake by Danny S. and he’s gone. Jason Webb was correct again in saying that though Tubid is a very good defender, physically, he just too short for Danny S. Why not try Holper then? Ask Coach Jong.
In fairness to Uchico though, he has too much to worry about the SMB line-up. SMB was assembled for one purpose alone, that is to take the crown all the way to San Miguel Corporation HQ. The Tugade-Hontiveros-Seigle offensive juggernaut is just overwhelming. This is one series, when every time these three unleash, I am thinking, it’s already in. Lista nyo na!
Lucky Jong, Danny Ildefenso was out. Had he been in, thatâ€™s another 15-point barrage right there. Another aspect is, his players are playing hypertensively. Either they are raring to go are they nerves are getting in the way. Jay Jay Helterbrand missed a couple of easy 10 footers. Mark Caguioa, wanting to put Ginebra back in the game is making his move unilaterally. Add to this, Erik Menk is totally out of game shape, physically and mentally.