Painters rip Mixers, grab 2-1 series lead

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PJ SIMON of San Mig Coffee tries to elude Jeff Chan of Rain or Shine in yesterday’s match. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

After going from its worst performance to its finest, Rain or Shine again wrested control of its PBA Philippine Cup Final Four series with San Mig Coffee.

And going from his best to one of his worst, James Yap was reduced to a mere mortal and couldn’t stop the bleeding for the Mixers.

Rain or Shine took a 2-1 lead over Yap and the Mixers last night, playing with complete command in a 98-72 victory at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay to again put the burden of adjustment on fancied San Mig.

The Elasto Painters broke away in the second quarter with an eye-popping 33-point output, taking a 19-point lead at the half to cruise to the lopsided win and bury the memories of a humiliating, 106-82 Game 2 loss on Friday.

“I told them (players): ‘Let’s just give ourselves a nice Christmas gift, for our friends, families, our fans and the people who believe in us,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said. “This is just a way for us to redeem ourselves, rebound from that embarrassing loss the last time.”

Paul Lee had 15 points and led four other in twin digits and several men rotated on the former two-time MVP Yap, who, after a 34-point night in Game 2, was held to just six points on 1-of-11 shooting that helped doom the Mixers.

“I feel we have more stoppers than they have shooters,” Guiao said matter-of-factly. “We like the fast game, the up-tempo game. As the series goes longer, we should be able to take advantage of our deeper rotation.”

Meanwhile, Talk ‘N Text, seeking to become the first team in 30 years to win this tournament three straight seasons, and Alaska break their 1-1 tie today when both squads clash at 6:45 p.m. also at the Arena.

The Aces are hoping to take the momentum of a 100-88 Game 2 win into this crucial outing with JV Casio and Calvin Abueva to again backstop Alaska on both ends.

The scores:

RAIN OR SHINE 98—Lee 15, Cruz 14, Chan 13, Rodriguez 12, Tiu 11, Norwood 9, Araña 8, Belga 6, Ibañes 4, Matias 3, Quiñahan 3.

SAN MIG 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

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