PBA: Boosters wake up, whip Elastopainters
MANILA, Philippines — Petron Blaze got back—and got back hard—at Rain or Shine Saturday, scoring a 106-73 victory that chopped down the Elasto Painters’ lead in their PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup Final Four series to 2-1 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
The Boosters drained six triples in the first quarter alone in setting the tone for the rout and avoided being put in a hole no team in the history of the PBA has ever come out of as they wrested back momentum going into Monday’s Game 4.
“It feels really good to finally win a first game in the series,” a relieved Petron coach, Gee Abanilla, told reporters. “We played well in the second game but didn’t finish it off. But we knew what to do in this game.”
Petron held the Painters to 12 points in the opening frame and Rain or Shine was never the same the rest of the way as the Boosters took a 23-point lead into the second half.
Reigning MVP Arwind Santos scored 22 points and led four others in twin digits as the Boosters scored the most lopsided win in their bruising series.
Rain or Shine, which won the first two games in contrasting styles, struggled all game and played its worst game in more than a month. The Painters lost for the first time in 11 games dating back to the elimination round.
The 14 points of Beau Belga were enough to lead Rain or Shine.
Paul Lee, the former Rookie of the Year who was the biggest performer for the Painters in the first two games, was held to four with national gunner Jeff Chan starved to just a free throw and rookie Alex Nuyles going scoreless.
Santos also snared a night-high 18 rebounds and June Mar Fajardo, who lost his cool during the most critical point of Game 2, finished with 14 points and 12 boards. Santos and Fajardo also helped the Boosters win the rebounding battle, 46-35.
Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra, with momentum on its side, tries to grab the lead in its separate best-of-seven series with sister squad San Mig Coffee as Game 3 of their box-office-hit series happens Sunday.
Game time is 5 p.m. also at the ultra-modern venue in Pasay with the Gin Kings hoping to score a follow-up to their scintillating 93-64 Game 2 victory over the Mixers on Friday.
San Mig coach Tim Cone gave up early in Game 2 after the Gin Kings had broken away with a 16-point first half lead that ballooned to as large as 25 in the third period.
The multititled mentor had said after an 85-83 series-opening win that he has the chance to dictate the series, and after seeing the Gin Kings at their best on Friday, Cone knows what to do today (Sunday).
PETRON 106—Santos 22, Cabagnot 15, Fajardo 14, Lassiter 13, Lutz 11, Kramer 8, Ross 8, Duncil 4, Tubid 3, Taha 3, Deutchman 3, Hubalde 2, Lanete 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 73—Belga 14, Quiñahan 10, Almazan 10, Araña 8, Norwood 8, Tiu 7, Tang 4, Ibañes 4, Lee 4, Rodriguez 2, Cruz 1, Chan 1, Nuyles 0, Teng 0.
Quarters: 30-12, 59-36, 77-62, 106-73
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