Rain or Shine's Jeffrei Chan gets harassed under the basket. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Alaska mounted a furious rally late in the game to complete a come-from-behind 97-93 win over Rain or Shine and take Game 1 of their best-of-5 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals on Friday night.
The Elasto Painters were up by 5 points, 93-88, with 4 minutes to go when the Aces tightened up their defense and forced Rain or Shine to miss their jumpers.
Alaska's Henry Walker also instigated a 9-0 run that sent the Elasto Painters reeling in the end.
Walker finished the game with 31 points and 7 rebounds and gave Alaska a measure of satisfaction against the Rain or Shine squad that inflicted the Aces' 51-point blowout loss almost 3 weeks ago.
Sonny Thoss scored 16 points and 8 rebounds for the Aces. Vic Manuel added 14, including the shot that tied the game 93-all before Walker delivered the finishing touches for Alaska.
Rain or Shine was up, 19-24, in the opening quarter through the efforts of Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, and import Arizona Reid.
The Aces fought back and put up a slim 46-45 halftime lead before the E-Painters came up with a 20-11 exchange to gain a 65-57 advantage in the third canto.
After momentarily losing the lead in the fourth, Rain or Shine returned to the driver’s seat following a 16-4 run that put them ahead, 93-88.
Alaska then fired back with 9 unanswered points, 5 of them coming from Walker, to claim Game 1.
“It’s nice to win Game One in this series. Alam ko hindi ganoon kahalaga but I think it’s good for our confidence,” Alaska coach Alex Compton said in the PBA website.
“As much as we didn’t talk much about the 51-point blowout, you kept on reminding us all the time. At least now, we know we can beat this team,” added.
Reid topscored for Rain or Shine with 27 points while Lee added 19 markers.
Alaska 97 – Walker 31, Thoss 16, Manuel 14, Casio 7, Jazul 7, Abueva 7, Espinas 5, Hontiveros 5, Baguio 5, Dela Cruz 0.
Rain or Shine 93 – Reid 27, Lee 19, Chan 14, Tiu 8, Norwood 6, Arana 5, Belga 4, Almazan 3, Ibanes 3, Cruz 2, Nuyles 2, Rodriguez 0.
Quarterscores: 19-24, 46-45, 73-74, 97-93