Just a win away from history as Rain or Shine outplays B-Meg in the PBA FinalsBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — Rain or Shine dug out of a 17-point hole in the first half and blasted B-Meg, 94-89, for a crucial 3-1 series lead in the PBA Governor’s Cup finals Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Best import Jamelle Cornley chalked up 23 points, 14 rebounds and five assists but different guys from the Elastopainters side hit their strides to deliver the victory.
Gabe Norwood, who knocked down a crucial trey with just under five minutes to go, chipped in 18 points while Ronjay Buenafe, who calmly sank two freebies for a 92-87 edge, added 13 points.
Tyrone Tang and Beau Belga also joined the fray with back-to-back hits in the payoff period, which had the momentum swinging in favor of Rain or Shine.
The Elastopainters bucked a sluggish start and a 28-11 deficit and started setting the tone as early as the second quarter to take a 47-45 lead at half time.
“It was a good thing we got out of that hole early,” said head coach Yeng Guiao.
James Yap, who scored a conference-high 25 points, went off early and kept on producing the buckets for the Llamados, who last led 75-74 on his triple.
Coach Tim Cone though his squad played with more energy, but it was the Elastopainters who made the big shots while they missed theirs.
Import Marcus Blakely’s output totalled to 22 points, but muffed two freethrows with 8.1 seconds left which could’ve inched B-Meg to a point.