"Defensive demon" Rhodes finally shows up for SMB
Paul Lintag on Jun 24, 2017 06:00 PM
With the Beermen needing him to be the defensive anchor they thought he was, the towering Charles Rhodes was more than happy to oblige.
When San Miguel Beer brought in Charles Rhodes for the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup, the import's initial scouting report was that he was a defensive specialist.
It didn't look that way over the course of the mid-season tournament because Rhodes was busy scoring a lot of points and punishing rims with his thunderous slams but with the Beermen needing him to be the defensive anchor they thought he was, the towering import was more than happy to oblige.
Finally matching up with Joshua Smith, Rhodes put the locks on his 6'10", 300-pound counterpart from TNT, limiting Smith to only 11 points and five rebounds in almost 18 minutes of play.
More than Smith's pedestrian numbers, the genius of Rhodes taking care of the defensive assignment in a direct import matchup was limiting Smith in what he usually does best for TNT.
And what Smith usually does best was to be the imposing figure for the KaTropa that made everything work.
Rhodes took that and he threw it away.
"That was the game plan, for me to just try and make him do things he was uncomfortable with," Rhodes said.
"We succeeded with that," he added.
After admitted to letting his team down in Game 1, Rhodes took pride in helping San Miguel win Game 2 in the most San Miguel way possible.
After a slow start, the Beermen dominated the rest of the way to tie the best-of-7 Finals at one game each, simoly overwhelming the KaTropa on all facets of the game.
"It feels great, that's our game plan, to come here and play SMB basketball," Rhodes said.
"Last game, we didn't do that and we let them take us out of rhythm and our style of play. We just gotta continue this every game," he added.
Focusing on defense, Rhodes' scoring naturally dipped in Game 2.
After scoring 31 points in Game 1, 21 in the first quarter alone, he only managed seven points in Game 2, all in the first half.
He did have 11 rebounds, two assists, and four blocks though.
"It feels great, it feels great when you don't have to score. When you don't have to score, it feels great and all you have to do is defend. It feels great especially for me," Rhodes said.
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