Rain or Shine routs new-look PetronBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Rain or Shine beat Petron Blaze as if the Boosters weren’t preseason favorites to win the title.
Riding high on their recent championship, the Elasto Painters pummeled the Boosters, 102-86, Wednesday night in the 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“As I said before the game, this is the best time to play Petron, they’re still in transition, they have a new coach,” said ROS head coach Yeng Guiao. “They’re going to be a lot more dangerous in the next two to three games and they won’t be the same when we play them the second time around.”
Petron, befuddled most of the time on both ends, couldn’t continue its solid first half while Rain or Shine found its groove.
Jeff Chan, the 2012 PBA Gorvernors’ Cup Finals MVP, led a balanced ROS attack with 20 points.
Jervy Cruz, JR Quinahan and Jireh Ibanes had 13 points each.
The Boosters launched a comeback and drew to within three, 77-80, after a rare made jumper by Dennis Miranda with still 9:23 left.
Guiao cited his team’s poise and new found confidence from winning the championship that helped them in this game.
And true enough, the Elasto Painters held their ground as it went on an 8-0 blitz as part of a 21-5 blast to take the Boosters apart in the latter part of the final period.
“We’re a little short on our guards but it really didn’t matter in this game everybody made some contribution,” said Guiao, who won’t have Paul Lee until December.
Chris Tiu’s debut was cut short after suffering a hamstring injury. He had two points and two assists in just six minutes.
Gabe Norwood also played solid with eight points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Top pick Junmar Fajardo fell a point shy of a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds but despite his size at six-foot-10 was occasionally pushed around by his smaller defenders.
Joseph Yeo and Arwind Santos paced Petron with 16 markers apiece.