The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters moved one step closer to keeping its date with destiny after defeating B-MEG, 94-89, in Game Four of the Governors’ Cup finals Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Rain or Shine moved one win away from clinching the series after taking a 3-1 lead.
For the second straight game, the Elasto Painters played without star guard Paul Lee, who won the Rookie of the Year award earlier in the evening. Lee re-aggravated a shoulder injury late in Game Two and is expected to be out of the series.
But the Elasto Painters got balanced scoring once again, with five players scoring at least nine points led by import Jamelle Cornley, who posted 23 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists.
Rain or Shine won despite falling behind by 17 points, 29-12, early in the game. But a fiery second quarter led by reserves JR Quinahan and TY Tang allowed the Elasto Painters to grab a 47-45 halftime lead.
“We started with really low energy, we were just lucky to get out of that hole,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, who guaranteed a victory for his team in the series after Lee fell to injury. “If they had that lead at halftime, B-MEG is gonna be hard to beat.”
The game was close in the fourth quarter before Rain or Shine managed to cut loose, leading 88-81 on Gabe Norwood three-pointer with less than four minutes left. B-MEG tried to mount a rally, but timely hits and steady free throw shooting allowed the Elasto Painters to escape with the win.
But Guiao warned his players about being complacent.
“This is a really vulnerable moment for us, we might think it’s over, but it’s not,” said Guiao, adding that a B-MEG win in Game Five on Wednesday could change the complexion of the series.
The loss spoiled the efforts of B-MEG superstar James Yap, who led all scorers with 25 points.
RAIN OR SHINE 94 – Jamelle 23, Norwood 18, Buenafe 13, Tang 11, Quinahan 9, Chan 7, Belga 4, Arana 3, Cruz 2, Matias 2, Ibanes 2.
B-MEG 89 – Yap 25, Blakely 22, Simon 14, Urbiztondo 10, Villanueva 5, Pingris 5, Reavis 4, de Ocampo 4, Barroca 0.
Quarters: 17-30, 47-45, 74-72, 94-89
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