Rain or Shine repels Alaska, new mentorBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
ANTIPOLO—Rain or Shine blew hot and cold before finishing off Alaska, 107-100, last night to get its PBA Governors’ Cup campaign off to a flying start at the Ynares Center here.
Import Jamelle Cornley scored 13 of his 27 points in a rip-roaring first quarter, and Jeff Chan delivered from afar in the second half as the Elasto Painters held off the Aces and gave new Alaska head coach Luigi Trillo a rude welcome.
The Painters built leads of as many as 23 points in the first half, saw this whittled down to as low as three at the halfway point of the third before Chan hit his stride, including a rare four-point play that restored order for Rain or Shine.
“Overall, I am happy with the way we played today,” coach Yeng Guiao said. “We’ve prepared very hard for this conference and it’s important that we win (games) early, this being a short conference.”
Chan, a southpaw who has been compared to many of the greatest lefties in the league in the past, including Allan Caidic, finished with 20 points that included four triples.
Cornley, based on his first game, could give coaching staff a problem since Arizona Reid, the Painters’ import here last year, is on standby after fulfilling a commitment in Germany.
“I am happy that the import (Cornley) is a right fit for us,” Guiao, whose championships won while coaching Swift/Pop Cola and Red Bull all came in import-spiced conferences, added.
“He can defend and he has a decent outside shot,” Guiao continued. “Even if he is scouted (by the other teams), the fact that he gives us a solid inside threat can free up our shooters.”
The Painters will be back on Friday against recently crowned Commissioner’s Cup champ B-Meg at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Chan’s four-point play off Wesley Gonzales with 51 ticks left in the third period gave the Painters a 76-63 lead.
As a team, the Painters connected on 12 of 27 triple tries, compared to the five for the Aces, who drew a 25-point, 14-rebound performance from import Jason Forte.
Paul Lee, who needs a mammoth tournament to move in contention for the Rookie of the Year award, added 17 points for the Painters, including the game-clinching triple with 1:57 left that made it 97-85.
Cyrus Baguio chipped in 19 points and LA Tenorio added 16, with Sonny Thoss and Mac Baracael combining for another 28 for the Aces, who named Trillo as their interim coach after Joel Banal resigned at the end of the Commissioner’s Cup finals.
RAIN OR SHINE 107—Cornley 27, Chan 20, Lee 17, Arana 11, Quinahan 7, Belga 6, Buenafe 6, Cruz 5, Norwood 3, Ibanes 3, Tang 2, Matias 0.
ALASKA 100—Forte 25, Baguio 19, Tenorio 16, Thoss 15, Baracael 13, Espinas 6, Custodio 4, Gonzales 2, Eman 0, Salamat 0.
Quarters: 32-17, 53-35, 78-63, 107-100