Rain or Shine stops Petron
RAIN or Shine pricked Petron Blaze’s bubble of invincibility last night, overhauling an early 14-point deficit before pounding out a thrilling 99-95 overtime win in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup Petron Saturday Special at Mall of Asia Arena.
Paul Lee and Jervy Cruz hit the Elasto Painters’ final nine points with Gabe Norwood having a hand in two of those critical baskets as Rain or Shine snapped the Boosters’ seven-game winning streak to rise to 5-3 and remain in top-two contention.
Cruz, the former UAAP MVP with Santo Tomas who was last season’s Mr. Quality Minutes, scored 14 of his career-high-tying 23 points in the fourth period and in overtime, while Lee had all five of his points in the extension inside the final 36.2 seconds.
Norwood fed Cruz for a layup with 1:37 left that made it 94-91 and after the Boosters came within a point following a Chris Lutz layup, he found Lee wide open with a cross court pass for a triple that made it 97-93 with 36.2 left.
Petron dropped into a share of the lead with sister squad Barangay Ginebra, which also blew early control but ended up winning in the end in the first game.
The Gin Kings, with sentinel LA Tenorio shooting 24 points that went with eight rebounds and six assists, blew a 16-point first half lead before fending off the Alaska Aces, 96-89, for a fourth straight win in a 7-1 card.
“We just had to grind it out,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao told scribes later. “We played a bad first half but made up for it in the second (half). We couldn’t get breaks from the refs so we had to create our own breaks.
“Petron is such a good team that you need extraordinary effort to beat them,” added Guiao. “I think we worked a little harder today than we did in the last game. We lost by 17 rebounds to Talk ‘N Text and we promised ourselves not to do so again.”
Even with the 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo and reigning MVP Arwind Santos plucking down 16 boards each for the Boosters, Rain or Shine—the shorter team in this match-up—still managed to win the rebounding battle, 66-61.
Cruz finished with a double-double with 12 rebounds and Lee had 15 and seven with JR Quinahan shooting 11 points that went with 10 boards.
Lutz forced extension by making two free throws off Norwood with 14.3 ticks remaining before both teams bungled chances of winning it in regulation.
Fajardo fouled out with 4:01 left in extension which resulted in a free throw for Norwood which made it 90-87.
Alaska, which opened up the second half with a 50-42 lead after being down, 23-7, again failed to win back-to-back games and dropped to 3-6.
Japeth Aguilar had 21 points, No. 1 pick Greg Slaughter shot 18 and the duo combined for 15 rebounds and five blocks, though this Ginebra victory wasn’t as scintillating as the last with Alaska having success in grounding the Kings’ high-fliers.
Jayvee Casio fired 27 points and Sonny Thoss more than held his own against Ginebra’s twin tower combination inside by shooting 22. But the Aces still fell after failing to execute better down the stretch.
Tenorio jumpstarted the Ginebra offense with 10 of his total coming in the first period.
GINEBRA 96—Tenorio 24, Aguilar 21, Slaughter 18, Ellis 8, Urbiztondo 6, Ababou 4, Reyes 4, Helterbrand 4, Baracael 3, Caguioa 3, Monfort 1, Mamaril 0.
ALASKA 89—Casio 27, Thoss 22, Espinas 12, Baguio 7, Abueva 6, Hontiveros 4, Ramos 4, Eman 4, Exciminiano 2, Dela Cruz 1, Belasco 0, Jazul 0, Avenido 0.
Quarters: 29-19, 42-50, 68-65, 96-89
RAIN OR SHINE 99—Cruz 23, Lee15, Quinahan 11, Belga 11, Norwood 11, Chan 8, Tiu 5, Rodriguez 5, Almazan 4, Teng 4, Ibanes 2, Arana 0, Tang 0, Nuyles 0.
PETRON 95—Fajardo 22, Lutz 22, Santos 18, Cabagnot 16, Lassiter 10, Lanete 5, Kramer 2, Taha 0, Hubalde 0, Ross 0.
Quarters: 16-25, 38-51, 60-66, 87-87, 99-95