Even Yeng Guiao was surprised at how easy it was this time.
Rain or Shine pulverized Barangay Ginebra in a span bridging the middle two quarters last night and walked away with an 82-65 win for a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three quarterfinal series in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
And the Elasto Painters, who dropped their first two meetings with the Gin Kings in the eliminations, did it despite getting just three players in twin digits and with leading scorer Jeff Chan accounting for just a free throw for his lowest output in the conference.
“We did not expect it to be this easy,” said Guiao later. “We played defense the way we planned to. The energy was high and everybody was active.”
In the second game, Alaska held off Meralco, 90-84, to also take a 1-0 lead in their quarterfinal series.
“In a best-of-three, Game 1 is nothing,” said coach Luigi Trillo, whose squad had comfortable leads in the third period but needed to fend off a Meralco comeback in the fourth. “We need to get back and focus on Game 2.”
The Elasto Painters held the Gin Kings to just two points in the first six minutes of the third quarter for a 59-31 lead and were never threatened even if they scored just once for the remainder of the third quarter as Guiao started to clear his bench.
“We took care of business in terms of getting our share of the boards,” Guiao continued. “It’s also good that we were able to take out LA (Tenorio) and Mark (Caguioa) from their rhythm.”
Caguioa finished with 16 and Tenorio had just six.
Jervy Cruz scored 14 points and had eight rebounds, Beau Belga was good for 11 and 11, and the comebacking Paul Lee had seven of his 11 points when the Painters broke away for good in the third.
RAIN OR SHINE 82—Cruz 14, Lee 11, Belga 11, Matias 9, Norwood 8, Rodriguez 8, Quiñahan 8, Tiu 6, Tang 6, Chan 1, Uyloan 0, Jaime 0, Araña 0.
BRGY. GINEBRA 65—Caguioa 16, Jensen 13, Ellis 7, Tenorio 6, Hatfield 6, Maliksi 5, Espiritu 5, Helterbrand 3, Taha 2, Maierhofer 2, Labagala 0, Wilson 0, Mamaril 0, Wilson 0.
Quarters: 18-15, 39-29, 61-40, 82-65
ALASKA 90—Baguio 26, Espinas 19, Dela Cruz 13, Thoss 10, Baracael 9, Abueva 6, Casio 5, Jazul 1, Hontiveros 1, Eman 0, Belasco 0.
MERALCO 84—Mercado 22,Cardona 14, Reyes 13, Ross 9, Hodge 8, Buenafe 7, Hugnatan 5, Nabong 2, Bulawan 2, Sharma 2, Borboran 0, Salvacion 0.
Quarters: 18-20, 44-33, 74-58, 90-84