Rain or Shine exploded for 35 points in the third quarter to erase an 11-point halftime deficit and walk away with a 114-97 win over Powerade in Game One of the best-of-seven semifinal series of the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Rookie Paul Lee anchored the Elasto Painters’ sizzling second half as he unloaded 22 of his personal-high 25 points after the break to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Jeff Chan fired a team-high 27 points, one shy of matching his career-high to lead Rain or Shine, which trailed by as much as 15 points in the game.
Larry Rodriguez added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Elasto Painters, who overcame a sluggish start but couldn’t do wrong in the last second half where they tallied a season-tying 71 points.
“We just showed poise. During the break, sabi namin kung walang mangyayari we will change our game plan. The guys are just committed to the game plan in the second half,” said Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao.
“And that’s the reason why we were able to bounce back.”
Gary David hit a game-high 30 points, but 17 of those came in the first half when the Tigers built a 54-43 lead going to the break.
Top pick JVee Casio’s three-pointer gave Powerade its biggest lead at 59-44 early in the third before Lee sparked a 13-0 blast to put his team back in the game.
Casio, who also had nine assists, completed a three-point play to make it 73-62 for the Tigers, who dislodged top seed B-MEG in the quarterfinals.
But Rain or Shine ended the third period with a 16-3 assault to take a 78-76 lead entering the fourth period.
Then Lee scored the first 10 points for the Elasto Painters to power a momentum-swinging 21-8 exchange to take a commanding 99-84 with 5:13 remaining.
“It was really my fault. I wasn’t able to make adjustments during game,” said Powerade head coach Bo Perasol. “The good thing about it is they need to win four games to win the series. They still need three.”
Rain or Shine 114 – Chan 27, Lee 25, Rodriguez 16, Belga 9, Arana 8, Cruz 7, Quinahan 6, Ibanes 5, Tang 4, Norwood 3, Buenafe 2, Matias 2
Powerade 97 – David 30, Lingganay 12, Vanlandingham 12, Casio 12, Anthony 8, Kramer 8, Adducul 6, Antonio 5, Lassiter 2, Crisano 2, Cruz 0
Quarters: 25-29, 43-54, 78-76, 114-97