Lee clutch as Rain or Shine repulses Alaska for 1-0 Finals lead | Inquirer Sports

Lee clutch as Rain or Shine repulses Alaska for 1-0 Finals lead

/ 09:32 PM May 06, 2016

Paul Lee vs Alaska defenders. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Paul Lee vs Alaska defenders. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

With Rain or Shine still licking its wounds from last season’s defeat, Paul Lee came up with the biggest shot of the night as the Elasto Painters downed Alaska, 105-97, to take Game 1 of the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

After missing what could have been the series winner in last year’s duel against TNT, Lee made sure his shot would drop this time, swishing an open triple with 51.4 seconds left to push Rain or Shine up, 99-94.

Rob Dozier drained a huge trey to cut the lead down to four with 27.2 left, but Maverick Ahanmisi proved to be calm from the charity stripe to secure the E-Painters the 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 championship series.

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Lee paced his crew with 20 points on a 4-of-5 shooting from three, while Jericho Cruz got 18 markers, nine rebounds, five assists, and two steals.

Beau Belga added 15 points on a 3-of-4 three-point clip, while Gabe Norwood had 11 markers and five boards.

Rain or Shine weathered a 41-point, 15-rebound explosion from Dozier with a help of a 14-of-27 from outside.

“Dozier played a great game for them. Halos hindi mag-mintis eh,” said coach Yeng Guiao. “We were just kind of waiting for him to miss his shots, try to mix up our matchup with him, try to give him different looks. In the fourth quarter, he missed the big shots, the shots when Pierre (Henderson-Niles) was guarding him.”

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With Cruz manning the charge, the Elasto Painters managed to break off from a 24-10 first quarter advantage, before Dozier stamped his class and brought Alaska back in the game.

But with the game tied at 87-all, Rain or Shine fired a telling 7-0 run to take a 94-87 edge with three minutes left to play. The Aces still tried to come back, but missed chances in the offensive end spelled doom for them as Lee and Ahanmisi put the game away for Rain or Shine.

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Aside from Dozier, only Cyrus Baguio (14 points) and Calvin Abueva (10 points) notched double-digits in scoring for Alaska.

Game 2 is on Sunday, still at the Big Dome.

The Scores:

RAIN OR SHINE 105 – Lee 20, Cruz 18, Belga 15, Norwood 11, Ahanmisi 8, Ponferrada 7, Henderson-Niles 6, Almazan 4, Quinahan 4, Tiu 4, Chan 3, Ibanes 3, Trollano 2.
ALASKA 97 – Dozier 41, Baguio 14, Baclao 10, Abueva 9, Banchero 9, Jazul 5, Dela Rosa 4, Hontiveros 3, Thoss 2, Exciminiano 0.

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Quarters: 29-25, 51-46, 74-77, 105-97.

TAGS: Alaska, cut, Game 1, Rain or Shine

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