Painters whip Bolts, take 1-0 series lead
Getting more involved offensively in the second half, Rain or Shine Tuesday night took a 1-0 lead over Meralco in their best-of-five Final Four series in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup following an impressive 99-86 victory at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Dragged into a tight first three quarters after losing an early 12-point lead, the Elasto Painters put on the heat in the fourth and broke away, drawing first blood while at the same time wresting psychological control for Game 2 slated on Easter Sunday.
“Again, it was our experience that gave us the advantage to play good,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said. “But this is just the first game. It’s far from over.”
Guards Jericho Cruz and Chris Tiu hit clutch buckets, and Wayne Chism was very efficient, going 7-for-8 from the field and 4-for-4 from the stripe to pace the Elasto Painters with 18 points that went with 12 rebounds.
Rain or Shine pounded out the convincing win even with Jeff Chan—the hero in the Painters’ 92-91 quarterfinal conquest of Barangay Ginebra—not 100%
“Jeff felt some pain in his legs, and I had to take him out,” Guiao said of his premier gunslinger, who was scoreless.
Paul Lee was the only other player in twin digits for Guiao with Cruz, Tiu and Gabe Norwood shooting nine points apiece. Norwood also had a huge triple that made it 90-80, before Lee scored on a layup that practically sealed the deal, 92-80, with under four minutes left.
Josh Davis was held down to just 11 points for the Bolts, who were led by the 14 of Gary David.
RAIN OR SHINE 99—Chism 18, Lee 14, Norwood 9, Cruz Jericho 9, Tiu 9, Cruz Jervy 9, Almazan 8, Uyloan 6, Teng 6, Arana 3, Ibanes 2, Tang 2, Belga 2, Quinahan 2, Chan 0.
MERALCO 86—David 14, Hodge 13, Anthony 13, Davis 11, Cortez 11, Hugnatan 10, Ferriols 6, Wilson 3, Macapagal 3, Caram 2, Reyes 0, Ildefonso 0, Sena 0, Buenafe 0.
Quarters: 29-25, 49-49, 74-71, 99-86