Career game for Lee as Elastopainters slip past Mixers
MANILA, Philippines—Paul Lee blazed to a career game and towed Rain or Shine to an 86-83 nipping of San Mig Coffee Thursday night in the 2013 PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Lee, who has been firing blanks from downtown the past few games, just couldn’t seem to miss this time, especially in crunch time, and constantly bailed out Rain or Shine in the last 3 minutes.
The third year guard hit a triple, off-the-glass, with the shotclock winding down and gave the Elastopainters a 78-74 lead then repeated that, without the backboard’s help, just minute after for an 83-76 edge.
“That was a big shot. That’s our biggest break,” said head coach Yeng Guiao as Lee gave Rain or Shine life in the payoff period by scoring 11 of his 26.
But even as Lee fueled Elastopainters down the stretch, it still wasn’t enough to get them out of danger just yet with the Mixers pulling to within a bucket behind them twice in the last minute.
A triple from Mark Barroca and an easy layup from Mark Pingris put San Mig Coffee within 81-83, but two freethrows from Jeff Chan off an offensive board from Larry Rodriguez gave Rain or Shine a four-point breather.
Pingris struck again with over 10 ticks left, and a sorry miss from Gabe Norwood from the stripe gave Mixers a final shot to snatch the win.
Barroca, though, misfired on a finger roll and Lee came to the rescue anew, securing the rebound and canning the freebie to put the game out of reach.
“We played sloppy in the fourth, we had too many turnovers and we made bad decisions, we’re just luck to get away with the win” said Guiao.
The Elastopainters refined their record, 4-1, while the Mixers, champions in the 2013’s season closing conference, continued to spiral down to a 1-4 card.
Barroca had 23 points for San Mig Coffee, which trailed for the most part of the first half before turning it into a back-and-forth slugfest the rest of the way.