MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine bounced back to give San Mig Coffee a holiday whipping 98-72 Tuesday in Game 3 of their best-of-seven semifinals series in the 38th PBA Philippine Cup at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Elasto Painters, who rebounded from an 82-106 blowout loss last Friday, zoomed to a double-digit lead anew in the second quarter and this time they never looked back.
“It’s a way to redeem ourselves from an embarrassing loss last time,” said ROS head coach Yeng Guiao.
Rain or Shine now leads the series 2-1 and Guiao knows there’s no time to celebrate with a pivotal Game 4 coming up.
“For me Game 4 should be the biggest game in the series,” Guiao said.
Jireh Ibañes only had four points, a rebound and a steal but proved to be the difference maker.
Ibañes held James Yap down to just six points after going off for 34 points in Game 2.
“Last game 34 ginawa niya sa’min. Kaya sabi ko gagawin ko best ang ko defensively,” said swingman Ibañes. “Kailangan ko lang talagang ipakita sa teammates ko na gusto kong manalo.”
Paul Lee got his touch back with a team-high 15 points after just a seven-point output the last game.
Jervy Cruz was almost automatic from mid-range en route to 14 points.
Rain or Shine kept its foot on gas in the second half to push its lead to as big as 26 points 94-68 after back-to-back treys from Chris Tiu.
PJ Simon pulled the Mixers to within 15 points in the opening minute of the final frame but that also seemed to get the E-Painters back to their senses.
Rain or Shine went on a 14-4 blast to lead 88-63 with 5:39 left and finally put the game out of reach.
Simon had a game-high 22 points.
RAIN OR SHINE 98 – Lee 15, Cruz 14, Chan 13, Rodriguez 12, Tiu 11, Norwood 9, Arana 8, Belga 6, Ibanes 4, Matias 3, Quinahan 3.
SANMIG COFFEE 72 – Simon 22, Barroca 11, Pingris 10, Devance 9, Yap 6, De Ocampo 6, Reavis 4, Gaco 2, Pacana 2, Ramos 0, Ponferada 0, Intal 0, Villanueva 0, Gonzales 0.
Quarters: 18-17, 51-32, 74-56, 98-72