Painters tie series with Aces again | Inquirer Sports

Painters tie series with Aces again

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 12:20 AM December 26, 2014

ALASKA center Sonny Thoss (left) tries to shoot over Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga during their semifinal showdown.  KIMBERLY DELA CRUZ

ALASKA center Sonny Thoss (left) tries to shoot over Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga during their semifinal showdown. KIMBERLY DELA CRUZ

Staying focused despite trailing early in a highly physical game, Rain or Shine finished strong to carve out a 98-91 decision over Alaska last night that again tied their best-of-seven Final Four series in the PBA Philippine Cup at 2-all at Mall of Asia Arena.

Jeff Chan fired 25 points built around five triples and fellow Nationals Gabe Norwood and Beau Belga hit crucial buckets in the stretch as the Elasto Painters, the losing finalists here last year, reduced the series into a best-of-three.

Game 5 is set tomorrow with the burden of adjustment falling on the Aces, whose two best big men, Sonny Thoss and Calvin Abueva, failed to finish the game for different reasons.

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Thoss, the 6-foot-7 center, fouled out with 3:51 left after shooting 25 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, before Abueva followed suit more than two minutes later after being slapped with a flagrant foul 2 call that merited an automatic ejection.

After Thoss fouled out, the Elasto Painters opened up a 90-85 lead behind Norwood and Belga, but the Aces quickly closed in when Abueva returned, 89-90.

Norwood then drained another jumper and, just as the Aces were to take the ball to their side of the floor, Abueva planted a right hand to the mid-section of Jonathan Uyloan unprovoked—and in front of a game official—that caused his ejection.

“We were helped a lot by the stupid move of Abueva,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said. “But we cannot rely on Abueva making his stupid moves (every time). We have to do it on our own.

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“We just stayed tough tonight. They had most of the lead,” Guiao added. “Game 5 will be the most crucial.”

Rain or Shine lagged behind by as many as 11 points in the third period but gathered a lot of steam early in the fourth after Alaska coach Alex Compton was forced to rest Abueva because of four fouls.

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From 71-78, the Painters dropped a 15-4 bomb to take an 86-82 lead.

Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer tries to apply the broom on Talk ‘N Text today and bag the first championship series slot after their 7 p.m. clash also at Mall of Asia Arena.

The scores:

RAIN OR SHINE 98—Chan 25, Norwood 12, Belga 11, Tiu 10, Lee 8, Quiñahan 7, Almazan 7, Uyloan 5, Araña 5, Ibañes 4, Tang 2, Cruz 2, Teng 0.

ALASKA 91—Thoss 25, Abueva 14, Casio 10, Manuel 9, Menk 8, Banchero 6, Baguio 6, Jazul 6, Hontiveros 3, Exciminiano 2, Dela Cruz 2, Eman 0, Dela Rosa 0.

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Quarters: 20-21, 38-41, 64-71, 98-91

TAGS: Alaska, Basketball, PBA Philippine Cup, Rain or Shine

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