The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters took Barako Bull’s best punch and lived to tell the tale, before cruising to an easy 100-90 victory Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Trailing 18-11 in the first quarter, Rain or Shine unleashed a 13-0 run to grab a 24-18 lead with 4:05 left in the opening period, an advantage the Elasto Painters would not give up the rest of the game.
“We shot a lot better in the game,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao of his team, which made 48 percent of its shots. “Medyo nagbalik na yung kumpiyansa namin.”
Rain or Shine turned up the heat in the second quarter, where Jeff Chan scored 11 of his team-high 19 points to help the Elasto Painters to a 57-43 lead.
The Elasto Painters were never seriously threatened since, leading by as much as 19 points in the fourth quarter before Barako Bull cut the lead with a late run.
Rain or Shine held Barako Bull import LeRoy Hickerson, who had averaged 35 points per game coming into the match, to just 24 points on 9-of-24 shooting.
“We prepared hard for Hickerson, we knew he was averaging more than 30 points and seven assists in his previous games,” said Guiao. “Gabe [Norwood] and Jireh [Ibanes] alternated on him, and did a good job.”
Rain or Shine was so dominant that import Jamelle Cornley played just 29 minutes, scoring 18 points. “I think it was a well-balanced attack, we did not need Jamelle to score big for us,” said Guiao.
The Elasto Painters’ victory also came despite injury to star rookie Paul Lee, who left the game in the second quarter after hurting his shoulder and did not return.
“Paul had some problems with his shoulder, I don’t think it was serious,” said Guiao. “Gabe and TY [Tang] handled the point guard position so well that we didn’t need him.”
It was Rain or Shine’s sixth victory in seven games, to stay atop the standings. Barako Bull’s win-loss record fell to 3-3.
Rain or Shine 100 – Chan 19, Cornley 18, Norwood 15, Ibanes 11, Buenafe 9, Cruz 6, Tang 6, Quinahan 6, Lee 4, Belga 4, Matias 2, Jaime 0.
Barako Bull 90 – Hickerson 24, Kramer 16, Najorda 12, Allado 8, Miller 7, Cruz 6, Cervantes 4, Sharma 4, Vergara 3, Tubid 3, Pennisi 3.
Quarters: 30-27, 57-43, 76-59, 100-90
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