PBA: Rookies hit big shots as GlobalPort fends off Rain or Shine
MANILA, Philippines — GlobalPort fended off Paul Lee and Rain or Shine for a 90-88 win Sunday in the 2013 PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier saw their 14-point lead slashed down to a tie at 87 with 2:44 to play, but never allowed the Elastopainters get a taste of the lead down the stretch.
A split from the stripe from Sol Mercado, and a swished baseline jumper from rookie Justin Chua gave GlobalPort the lead for good even if they failed to punch in a point in the final 1:50 of the game.
GlobalPort, following up its big win over Meralco last Friday, improved to 3-3. Jay Washington and Mercado led anew with 20 points each.
RR Garcia, who had a crucial 3, finished with 13, and big man Chua added 12 markers as both newbies earned their time on the floor during clutch.
“The young guns are learning how to play in the PBA and the veterans are stepping up, being leaders,” said neophyte head coach Richie Ticzon.
The Elastopainters had countless of chances to send the game into OT or go for the win after Beau Belga put them within 90-88 after two FTs with 1:31 in the clock.
But Lee missed a triple with 37.5 seconds left, and again with the time wound down as the star guard didn’t have enough time to launch a decent shot in their final possession.
“We knew they were going to Paul Lee or Jeff Chan. Their big players only want to switch,” Ticzon said, and true enough as the ball got stuck on JR Quiñahan’s hands in Rain or Shine’s final play.
Lee continued his splendid play with 20 points, including three 3s, but this time for naught as the Elastopainters dropped to 4-2.
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