Gallinat’s Offensive Explosion Leads Pacific’s Playoff Charge
Last Thursday, Pacific men’s basketball (14-17) closed out their home finale with a game against the San Francisco Dons (17-13) in a highly contested matchup. It ended with a win for San Francisco 84-74, highlighted by a very exciting second half that had both sides showcasing their offensive arsenals.
This capped a very impressive season for the Tigers at home as they definitely got the crowd on their feet and putting pressure on the opposition. The usually balanced offense by Pacific turned into a one-man show led by guard Roberto Gallinat’s impressive 41 points. He was unstoppable at times and will go down in the program’s record books.
Thursday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center witnessed the home team having its first 40-point scorer since 1986 when Rich Anema matched that feat. The valiant effort by Gallinat also was three points away from the matching the program’s record set by Bill Stricker in 1968.
Gallinat’s play is even more impressive when you take a look at his box score, as he not only scored at a high rate but he shot at a high rate as well. The junior guard shot 12 of 19 from the floor, 38% from three-point range and attacked the paint at every chance possible. In his 40 minutes on the court, he took 17 free throws, making 14 of them to give Pacific a chance in the matchup.
The effort on Thursday was followed up by a 23 point performance by Gallinat two days later against LMU on Saturday with the tigers falling 74-71. The Lions pulled away in the second half by outscoring Pacific by 14 in the second half and capping the regular season.
The three game losing streak going into this weekend’s West Coast Conference tournament may be concerning at the surface, but there are many reasons to be optimistic for Tiger fans.
Pacific is the fifth seed for the upcoming West Coast Conference Championships, and will play No. 4 USF at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The team was able to secure a first round bye as the 5th seed and will open up against a familiar foe in the Dons.
On an individual level, the team can rely on WCC Player of the Week Roberto Gallinat, who may be the hottest player in the conference at the moment. Pacific’s men go into this weekend boasting two players with that weekly honor, with forward Jahlil Tripp also receiving the award earlier this year on Jan. 9th. Tripp’s award-winning week was the first time a Pacific men’s player has won that award since 2014 and now that Gallinat has accompanied him, it gives Pacific two players that can lead the offense.
They are joined with a solid supporting cast and bench play that can potentially have the Tigers go into the tournament as a dark horse and ready to make some noise. The team boasts three players scoring over ten points a game and a deep roster with seven to eight players averaging over 15 minutes of play that is going to be essential to rely on in a highly grueling competition to keep everyone fresh.
The two areas of focus that the team needs to look into and improve are their three-point shooting and maintaining their high energy in the second half. The team had impressive performances against first-seeded Gonzaga and second-seeded Saint Mary’s during the regular season, making many Tiger fans optimistic that the team can put together a three game win streak and crown themselves on Tuesday, March 6th on national television. Go Tyges!
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