MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine has never been to the Philippine Cup Finals before until Jeff Chan steered the Elasto Painters to their first last Thursday.
Chan, the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week (Dec. 31 to Jan. 6), scored 27 points as ROS eliminated San Mig Coffee, 90-83, in Game 6 of their best-of-seven semifinals series last Thursday.
“Jeff has been working hard all year long,” said head coach Yeng Guiao. “He has emerged not only as the team’s top scorer but one of its leaders as well.”
Paul Lee, Jervy Cruz, Gabe Norwood and Beau Belga did their share but it was Chan’s play that spelled the difference.
The former Far Eastern University star is known for his outside touch but Guiao believes Chan has evolved into so much more.
“Many think of him as an outside gunner but he can score in many different ways. That makes him even more dangerous,” said Guiao.
“He can also hold his own on defense and that makes me very happy as his coach.”
Chan, who averaged 13.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists, brushed off a slow start to score nine points in each of the last three quarters of Game 6 and added seven rebounds, three assists and a steal, the kind of a bounce-back performance one would expect from a budding star.
The lefty swingman has no plans of slowing down as Rain or Shine would need his efforts anew against the defending Philippine Cup champion Talk ‘N Text in their best-of-seven championship series which rolls off on Wednesday.