Rain or Shine a win from first title series
Ginebra nips Petron on Jaworski’s big nightBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
OF all the firsts that Rain or Shine has so far achieved in the PBA Governors’ Cup, this one, hands down, is the sweetest.
The Elasto Painters, bucking the ejection of coach Yeng Guiao in the second quarter, broke away from Meralco in the fourth quarter and roared to a 99-86 decision of the Bolts last night at Smart Araneta Coliseum to all but clinch the first championship berth.
Rain or Shine, which started the tournament with a 4-0 mark and topped an elimination round for the first time in franchise history, unloaded 31 points in the fourth period after trailing by three and improved its league-leading slate to 9-2.
“I think we are assured of a playoff (for the second berth),” said Guiao, who was thrown out with 2.9 seconds left in the second period because of successive technicals for vehemently protesting a noncall. “I think the magic number is 10, and right now, we have three chances.”
Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra, on the night the league retired the No. 7 jersey of former playing-coach Robert Jaworski, completed a come-from-behind 87-85 victory over Petron Blaze in the second game.
Import Cedric Bozeman hit a floating one-hander from deep in the baseline that left just three-tenths of a second on the clock for the marginal basket as the Kings remained undefeated in the semis and won a third straight game for 7-4 overall.
“I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but God couldn’t have written it (script) better,” Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen said. “We were celebrating the foundation of Ginebra. We pulled out his (Jaworski) legacy: Never say die.”
Jamelle Cornley scored eight points, Ronjay Buenafe and Beau Belga hit two triples apiece in the fourth period as the Meralco offense and defense virtually imploded, dooming the Bolts, who needed nothing less than a sweep coming into the game, with a 4-7 record.
Rain or Shine actually blew a 13-point first-quarter lead when it cooled off in the second before falling behind by as many as six in the third as Mario West hit from inside and out for the Bolts.
West scored 13 of his 33 points in the third quarter and was still effective in the fourth. But he got little help from the rest of the Bolts, who scored just 15 in the closing quarter.
RAIN OR SHINE 99—Cornley 21, Lee 16, Buenafe 10, Belga 8, Chan 8, Ibanes 8, Norwood 7, Arana 7, Quinahan 6, Cruz 5, Rodriguez 3.
MERALCO 86—West 33, Cardona 19, Ross 15, Reyes 11, Hugnatan 4, Bulawan 2, Mercado 2, Macapagal0, Taulava 0.
Quarters: 26-13, 45-44, 68-71, 99-86
GINEBRA 87—Caguioa 25, Bozeman 13, Ababou 13, Maierhofer 10, Villanueva 8, Raymundo 8, Helterbrand 4, Cortez 3, Hatfield 3, Maliksi 0, Wilson W. 0, Mamaril 0.
PETRON 85—Faison 19, Lutz 17, Washington 11, Hontiveros 11, Santos 9, Yeo 6, Cabagnot 6, Pena 4, Miranda 2, Reyes 0, Ildefonso 0.
Quarters: 15-26, 34-42, 58-69, 87-85