ROS' Paul Lee tries a reverse layup against Petron's Arwind Santos. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine clawed back from 16 points down to carve out a tough 103-94 victory against Petron Blaze in Game 2 of their PBA Philippine Cup semis faceoff on Wednesday.
With the win, the Elasto Painters took a 2-0 lead in their best-of-7 series against the Boosters at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jeffrei Chan scored 20 points for Rain or Shine, while Raymond Almazan and Paul Lee had 15 points each.
“2-0 is a good place to be at this point, but we cannot celebrate,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said in the PBA website. “We still need to win two more games. They did a good job in stopping our breaks and slowing down the game, but we’ll just prepare for them by Saturday (Game 3).”
Petron Blaze zoomed its way to a 34-18 lead until Rain or Shine came within 3 points, 49-46, by the end of the first half.
The Boosters’ Alex Cabagnot then engineered a 14-4 run that had the elasto Painter trailing again, 63-50.
Successive tripled by Chan unfastened a searing 23-6 run to give Rain or Shine a 95-91 advantage over 3 minutes remaining.
Petron Blaze then collapsed down the stretch, surrendering Game 2 to a more hungry Rain or Shine.
June Mar Fajardo had 20 points for the Boosters. Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter added 17 and 14, respectively.
Guiao took particular notice og Almazan, who shone brightly by scoring 10 of his 15 points in the payoff period.
“Raymond played like a veteran tonight,” he said. “He made big shots, he hauled in big rebounds, and he had big stops. Tonight, he looked like 250 pounds and he did it when it counted the most, here in the semifinals. That’s his championship experience from Letran.”
Rain or Shine 103 - Chan 20, Almazan 15, Lee 15, Belga 11, Norwood 11, Arana 8, Tang 5, Quinahan 4, Cruz 4, Nuyles 4, Rodriguez 4, Teng 2, Tiu 0, Ibanes 0.
Petron 94 - Fajardo 20, Cabagnot 17, Lassiter 14, Santos 12, Lutz 7, Kramer 6, Hubalde 6, Ross 6, Tubid 4, Taha 2.
Quarterscores: 18-32, 46-49, 67-78, 103-94