After seeing their Commissioner’s Cup title-retention bid end tragically on Wednesday, Rain or Shine veteran guard Chris Tiu admitted that Star import Ricardo Ratliffe was just too hot to handle for the Elasto Painters, leading to their 84-69 loss on Wednesday.
Import Duke Crews, Beau Belga, Jay Washington, Jewel Ponferada and Raymond Almazan all had their chances to slow down and hopefully, prevent Ratliffe from wreaking havoc inside the shaded lane.
But Crews got into early foul trouble, Belga eventually fouled out late in the game, while Washington and Ponferada each had 4 fouls. In the end, Ratliffe used his muscular physique and speed to send Rain or Shine’s phalanx of big men into submission.
“Everybody fought hard. The big guys really worked hard, but they had a handful with Ratliffe. He’s really a beast, he’s strong, smart and skilled,” Tiu told FOX Sports, moments after Rain or Shine got swept by Star, 2-0 in their quarterfinal series.
Ratliffe, who came in to replace the athletic Tony Mitchell, late in the eliminations, finished with 26 points and 24 rebounds, along with 5 assists as he threw his full weight against Rain or Shine’s big men all game long.
“They (ROS big men) had to share duties defending him and boxing him out, and also trying to score on him,” explained Rain or Shine’s seventh pick in the first round of the 2012 PBA Draft.
“I think they did their part, Beau, Jewel, Raymond, Jay Wash and Duke, everybody contributed whatever they can give to try to slow him (Ratliffe) down and neutralize him. But in the end, they (Hotshots) prevailed.”
Tiu said the team will try to learn from this painful ending and they try bounce back strong in the season-ending Governors’ Cup.
The Hotshots advanced to the semis and will be facing the San Miguel Beermen in a best-of-5 affair.
Star has gone 5-0 since Ratliffe came on board.
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