Rain or Shine sends Alaska back to earthBy Musong R. Castillo |Philippine Daily Inquirer
After playing catch-up in the first three quarters, Rain or Shine pulled away in the fourth period and sent Alaska and Calvin Abueva back to reality last night.
Jeff Chan and JR Quiñahan served as offensive anchors as the Elasto Painters snapped the Aces’ five-game winning run in the PBA Philippine Cup with a 101-93 win at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Chan hit 10 straight points, including a wide-open triple with 8:33 left that gave the Painters the lead to stay, 85-84, and sent Rain or Shine on its way to a second straight victory and a 6-2 slate.
“We had to grind it out and it was only in the late stages of the fourth that we were able to break away,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said.
Talk ‘N Text remained in the lead after taking Petron Blaze apart, 92-82, in the second game.
Larry Fonacier scored 21 points and Kelly Williams 16 for the Texters, who bounced back from a narrow loss to the Aces to rise to 7-1. Petron lost for the second straight game and is now at 3-6.
Abueva, the second overall pick in the PBA draft who hasn’t lost a game since joining the Aces four games into the season, was held below twin digits for the first time. He scored just seven points and pulled down just six rebounds, four below his average.
Guiao said holding Abueva down wasn’t the only thing they needed to do to survive Alaska, which took just a third loss in eight games.
“We know Abueva hasn’t lost a game,” Guiao explained. “But we didn’t want to get distracted. The ‘Beast’ wasn’t going to beat us (by himself), kundi yung mga surot (but the pesky guys) like (JV) Casio and Cyrus (Baguio).
“We put a lot of pressure on them defensively and they got tired in the fourth quarter.”
Alaska was in command in the first three quarters, leading by as many as 10 points several times, before the Aces were held to 16 points in the fourth.
Casio and Baguio did finish with 16 apiece to lead Alaska, but JV laid a big fat egg in the fourth and Cyrus was held to just four as baskets came in trickles for the Aces when winning time was at hand.
“Give Rain or Shine credit, they played great defense in the second half,” Alaska coach Luigi Trillo said. “Granted we miss on offense, but there’s no excuse on (not playing) defense. We chickened out tonight.”
Trillo said that Abueva missed one practice before the game, being under the weather the past few days.
RAIN OR SHINE 101—Chan 22, Quinahan 20, Arana 13, Rodriguez 12, Norwood 9, Matias 8, Belga 7, Tang 4, Ibanes 4, Cruz 2.
ALASKA 93—Casio 16, Baguio 16, Espinas 13, Baracael 9, Dela Cruz 8, Hontiveros 8, Abueva 7, Jazul 6, Thoss 4, Laure 4, Eman 2, Reyes 0.
Quarters: 22-25, 43-47, 71-77, 101-93
TALK ‘N TEXT 92—Fonacier 21, Williams 16, De Ocampo 14, Alapag 13, Aban 9, Carey 6, Castro 5, Ferriols 4, Alvarez 2, Peek 2, Raymundo 0, Gamalinda 0.
PETRON BLAZE 82—Lutz 18, Santos 17, Washington 16, Yeo 10, Duncil 7, Miranda 6, Faundo 4, Cabagnot 4.
Quarters: 17-23, 42-42, 69-60, 92-82