PBA: Rain or Shine slips past San Miguel for 2-1 semis edge
Rain or Shine fought hard and used a big final push to down San Miguel, 111-106 in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-7 semifinals of the 2016 Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Marcio Lassiter muffed a potential game-winning floater for the Beermen before Chris Tiu nailed four consecutive charities to ice the game for the Elastopainters, who now have won second straight.
However, Rain or Shine lost Jericho Cruz to a hyperextended left leg after a collision with Lassiter in the sidelines as he was trying to save the ball. Lassiter was called a flagrant one.
Cruz, who writhed in pain as he clutched his leg, had to be stretchered out of the playing court.
“It’s a very hard win for us. We had to pay a big cost to win this game,” said coach Yeng Guiao, who now expects to miss Cruz for the next games alongside Raymond Almazan who suffered from a sprained right ankle.
Paul Lee led the E-Painters charge with 18 points, while Beau Belga did his best to matchup against the San Miguel behemoth June Mar Fajardo, finishing with 14 markers and 14 rebounds.
Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan both had 13 points apiece, and Tiu and Jewel Ponferrada wound up with 12 markers each.
It was a better showing for Rain or Shine this time out compared to the first two games where it squandered 20-point leads. However, the biggest takeaway right now for the Elasto Painters are the injuries besetting them three games into the series.
“We’re paying a big cost for this series and for the wins, but that’s how it is,” Guiao said. “We’ee willing to pay that cost and take up the challenge. We’re used to making the adjustments anyway.”
Game 4 is on Monday at the same venue.
Fajardo once again paced San Miguel, finishing with 40 points and 20 rebounds that went with four blocks in the defeat.
Marcio Lassiter has finally made his presence felt in the series, ending up with 22 markers on a 6-of-9 shooting from threes, while Arwind Santos got 12 points and 11 boards.
Unfortunately, for the second straight game, the output from the supporting cast wasn’t enough to pull the win through for the Beermen.
RAIN OR SHINE 111 – Lee 18, Belga 14, Chan 13, Norwood 13, PonfeRrada 12, Tiu 12, Ahanmisi 10, Quinahan 8, Cruz 6, Nimes 5, Trollano 0.
SAN MIGUEL 106 – Fajardo 40, Lassiter 22, Santos 12, Tubid 11, Cabagnot 8, Lutz 6, Espinas 5, Reyes 2, Araña 0, Ross 0.
Quarters: 26-27, 58-50, 78-86, 111-106.