Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood guards TNT's Kelly Williams in their first quarterfinals tussle, Wednesday night at the MOA Arena | PBA Images

Norwood steps up, aids Rain or Shine's survival
Denison Rey A. Dalupang (philstar.com) - September 27, 2017 - 12:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — It was Gabe Norwood’s first game against TNT in the season-ending Governors’ Cup. But he sure as hell made it count.

On the verge of having their 20-point edge erased by KaTropa, Norwood paired with import J’Nathan Bullock to keep their foes on the back seat.

Bullock scored eight of his 31 points in the second half to help Rain or Shine hold fort. Norwood chimed in 10 more in the gritty stand.

“A little bit of pressure for me and Raymond (Almazan),” he said. “You know, they won big without us. We wanted to come out and show the same effort that they did to put us in this position.”

Norwood, who has long been the Elasto Painters’ skipper, missed the elimination phase with Alamzan due to their tour of duty with the national team in Lebanon. Without them, Rain or Shine managed to rout TNT, 105-73.

"They won without us and kudos to our team and coaching staff. So we wanted to actually come out and compete and luckily, we got on ‘em early and we kind of carried it from there,” Norwood said.

And while Norwood acknowledges the confidence brought by upsetting the second-seeded team, the 6-foot-3 forward said that every game is different.

“It’s basketball at the end of the day. We did beat them at the regular season. I guess there might be a sense of confidence in that,” he shared. “But we’ve done nothing but extend it to another day.”

And he’s also wary of the highs of the win getting to his and his teammates’ heads.

“You can’t get that confident,” Norwood said. “We just wanna come out. There’s not many nights [where] Glen Rice Jr.’s gonna shoot seven for 20 something.”

" Lot of those are open looks that didn’t drop. We just gotta come out and make them work for their shots,” he added.

“Jayson (Castro) and also Kelly (Williams) came out. (Anthony) Semerad played well. There are lot of threats over there that we gotta concentrate on,” he closed.

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