E-Painters defuse Energy, regain leadBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
After preparing his Rain or Shine squad hard and early, Yeng Guiao is not at all surprised that they are doing well in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
But, he admits, not as well as they’re doing now.
The Elasto Painters started another winning streak going last night, surviving a minor injury to super rookie Paul Lee in the second quarter for a 100-90 victory over Barako Bull to reclaim the No. 1 spot in the eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I was expecting we were going to play well this conference,” Guiao said after getting 19 points from Jeff Chan and 18 from import Jemelle Cornley in winning a second straight game and improving to 6-1.
“We prepared early, flew in Jamelle early for him to get acclimatized and know his teammates well,” he continued. “That’s the key to the format that we have right now: early preparation and early wins if you want to have a chance in the Finals.
“(But I was) not (expecting that we would do) very well as we’re doing right now.”
The Painters seized complete command late in the second period and closed out the half sitting on a 57-43 lead even with Lee injuring his left shoulder in a scramble for possession against Leroy Hickerson.
Lee, the second overall choice in the Draft, never returned and played just a total of eight minutes to score four points. But the Painters were never in trouble again as they even led by 21 twice late in the fourth.
Guiao then quickly dismissed impressions that Lee was hurt bad in that play, saying that it was his decision not to give Lee more minutes in the second half since they were playing with firm control.
The loss was the third in six games for the Energy and the first in three outings with Hickerson as an import. Hickerson paced Barako Bull with 24 points and 13 rebounds and Doug Kramer added 16 and 12.
RAIN OR SHINE 100—Chan 19, Cornely 18, Norwood 15, Ibanes 11, Buenafe 9, Cruz 6, Tang 6, Quinahan 6, Lee 4, Belga 4, Matias 2, Jaime 0.
BARAKO 90—Hickerson 24, Kramer 16, Najorda 12, Allado 8, Miller 7, Cruz 6, Cervantes 4, Sharma 4, Vergara 3, Tubid 3, Pennisi 3.
Quarters: 30-27, 57-43, 76-59, 100-90