Rain or Shine gets outright semis with win over Ginebra
MANILA, Philippines — Beau Belga matched his career-high 21 points and red-hot Rain or Shine secured the first outright semifinals berth with a 100-90 win over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Belga went 4-of-6 from long distance and also had five rebounds for the Elasto Painters, who stretched their winning streak to seven games after and up-and-down start to the conference.
“The guys really wanted this win. This is our best chance of making the semis we dont want to go the long way,” said ROS head coach Yeng Guiao.
The Painters saw their 23-point lead dwindle down to eight thrice with the last one coming at 88-80 off a basket by Kings forward Japeth Aguilar with still 9:11 left before Belga went on a personal 7-0 run to seal his team’s league-best ninth win in 11 outings.
“We expected a run by Gnebra. We anticipated that and we just had to be tough physically and mentally and we were able to pull this one off,” said Guiao, who also said that he will give his players a two-day rest.
Paul Lee added 18 points, including 11 points in the third quarter, where his layup off a fastbreak put Rain or Shine ahead, 80-57, at the 4:25 mark of that period.
Aguilar, Greg Slaughter and LA Tenorio scored 14 points apiece for Ginebra, which fell to 6-5.
The Kings, who never led, played without Jayjay Helterbrand, Josh Urbiztondo and Chris Ellis due to injuries.