Rain or Shine hangs on to beat Petron, nears Finals
MANILA, Philippines—Rain or Shine hung on to beat Petron Blaze, 88-83, and go up 3-1 in their 2014 PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinals duel Monday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ryan Araña scored 12 points off the bench for the Elasto Painters, who can book a Finals ticket on Friday.
“The guys just did not give up. They won this game on their own. I have nothing to do with this victory. They lost Paul (Lee), they lost me but they kept their fighting hearts with them and we beat them against the odds,” said ROS head coach Yeng Guiao, who was sent out of the court for the second straight game near the midway mark of the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul for using profane language.
Explosive guard Paul Lee twisted his right ankle after challenging a drive by Chris Ross at the 7:14 mark of the second quarter and did not return. He finished with seven points in eight minutes.
But still, Rain or Shine overcame their absences and a career-best output by six-foot-10 center June Mar Fajardo, who had 27 points to go along with 17 rebounds and two blocks.
The Boosters missed their last five field goal attempts after the Painters took an 87-82 edge on a much-needed 3-pointer by Beau Belga with only 1:53 remaining. That was Belga’s lone basket of the game as he was hobbled by foul trouble.
“First half the refs gave 24 free throws to Petron. I thought there were a lot of bad calls. Any team made up of softer material would have folded up. So it was really a testimony to the character of the guys. We really wanted to win this series,” Guiao added.
“We’re closer to our objective but there’s no guarantee. We still have to carve out another win. I take my hat off to coach Caloy (Garcia) and the rest of the guys who didn’t give up when I gave up.”