MANILA, Philippines — After fighting tooth and nail in its opening game, defending champion Rain or Shine had little trouble in beating GlobalPort, 94-74, to grab an early lead in the 38th PBA Governors’ Cup Saturday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.
Import Arizona Reid scored 27 points while Ryan Araña added 21 points to lead the Elasto Painters to an all-important 2-0 start.
“Malaking bagay sa short conference format yung 2-0. The best chance you get to go to the next round is to win early,” said ROS head coach Yeng Guiao, whose team edged San Mig Coffee, 79-75, last Wednesday.
Araña scored almost half of his offensive output in the pivotal third quarter where Rain or Shine kept its momentum and padded on to its lead, 71-58.
The challenge now for Guiao is for Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood to get back into the flow of things after getting a well-deserved break for leading the national team in the FIBA Asia Championship.
“We’re trying to get Gabe and Jeff back into their regular rhythm. Gaganda pa yung laro kapag nakabalik na sila,” said Guiao. Masaya na ako kay Reid. He’s working hard on the boards, he shot better now and he’s defdending well. I am not looking for anything more, I am looking for the guys to blend well.”
The Batang Pier failed to follow up their win against the Air21 Express in the opener as import Markeith Cummings, new recruit Jay Washington and shooting guard Jaypee Belencion were checked.
Cummings, who lit up Air21 with 37 points was limited to just 23 points. Belencion and Washington, who combined for 29 points the last time out, were held to just 11.
Guiao hoped to get Norwood some time on the court but said that the six-foot-five swingman is “under the weather”.
“Ryan (Araña), Paul (Lee), JR (Quiñahan) and Beau (Belga) played well today that’s the usual ideal situation that we really want,” Guiao added. “Five day break is a good way to get Gabe (Norwood) and Jeff (Chan) into regular practice. They should be 85-90% when we get to the Petron game.
Lee added 15 points while stocky big men Belga and Quiñahan chipped in six each.