Paul Lee’s buzzer beater leads Painters over Aces for 2-0 lead
Paul Lee nailed the buzzer-beating jumper and Rain or Shine beat Alaska, 105-103, to take a 2-0 lead in the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
At the right place and at the right time, Lee secured the game’s final possession off a miss by teammate Beau Belga before calmly burying the wide-open jumper from the right wing as time ran out.
“It’s a tough game, but it’s a treat for the fans. It’s a nice game to watch. It’s getting tougher every game as I said. Game 1 was tough, Game 2 is a lot tougher and Game 3 is gonna be tougher than Game 2,” said ROS head coach Yeng Guiao.
“This is what we expected, but the good thing is we have a 2-0 lead so we have a two-game cushion but that’s not going to be safe against Alaska, 2-0 is not safe against Alaska,” added Guiao, whose squad will shoot for a commanding 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven series on Wednesday night also at the Big Dome.“
Lee, the 27-year-old guard, followed up his 20-point performance in Game 1 with another outstanding showing with 17 points, 13 coming in the fourth quarter, that went with four rebounds and four assists.
But Lee wasn’t the only one who shone for Rain or Shine.
Veteran shooter Jeff Chan also had 17 points, making all of his three 3-pointers, while daredevil guard Jericho Cruz, Beau Belga and Jewel Ponferada scored 14 points apiece.
“A lot of players stepped up when we needed them. Jewel Ponferada stepped up, JR (Quiñahan) stepped up, Jericho (Cruz) stepped up, Beau (Belga) stepped up and of course Paul (Lee) again, back to his old form and just ike in Game 1, he’s just back to his leadership role in this team.”
The Aces, too, drew contributions from all over with RJ Jazul leading the way with 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field.
Rob Dozier, who had 41 points in the Aces’ 105-97 loss in the Finals opener last Friday, had 18 points, including a hook shot over Belga that tied the game at 103 with 27.3 seconds left.
The Painters threatened to blow the game open after a Lee looper extended their lead to nine, 100-91, with 3:28 left. But the Aces responded right away with Jazul burying back-to-back triples to trim the lead down to one, 100-99, with still 1:22 to go.