San Mig's Ian Sangalang was the biggest thorn in Rain or Shine's side during Game 3. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA – San Mig Coffee is just a win away from realizing its Grand Slam dream after handily beating Rain or Shine, 78-69, in Game 3 of their best-of-5 PBA Governors’ Cup title duel on Saturday.
The Coffee Mixers relied on stringent defense while sustaining its balanced attack in the second half where they crippled the Elasto Painters with a 12-2 run near the end of regulation period.
Ian Sangalang made the most damage against Rain or Shine in the third canto by scoring 13 points on 6-of-10 field-goal shooting and helping quash the Elasto Painters’ resurgence in that quarter.
San Mig Coffee now enjoys a 2-1 lead over Rain or Shine in their race-to-3 title duel.
The Coffee Mixers immediate went down to work and gained a quick 11-2 upper hand against the Elasto Painters.
Arizona Reid, Beau Belga and Raymond Almazan scrambled to close the gap, but they could only bring Rain or Shine within 14-17 at the end of the first quarter.
Justin Melton and Mark Barroca scored several buckets and Marqus Blakely stretched for a lay-up to widen the gap to 25-17.
Reid, with a little help from Jervy Cruz, cut San Mig’s lead to 32-29 midway the second stanza.
The Coffee Mixers responded with a 7-1 run to close the first-half with a 39-30 half-time advantage.
San Mig remained at the driver’s seat as Joe Devance and Marc Pingris muscled their way inside the paint, but Reid kept on threatening at the other side of the court to bring Rain or Shine within 2 points, 53-55.
The E-Painters momentarily got the lead on Belga's layup, 59-58, but Ian Sangalang's bucket started an 8-2 run that gave the Coffee Mixers a 66-61 edge.
Rain or Shine continued to struggle in the fourth with only Reid and Paul Lee carrying the fight for the Elasto Painters, while San Mig enjoyed more scoring options with Barroca, Pingris, and Sangalang.
The Coffee Mixers were already up 76-66 by the time they approached the final minutes.
Import Marqus Blakely scored 17 points for San Mig, which also drew double-digits from Devance and PJ Simon, who scored 10 points each.
Reid led all scorers with 31 points, but received little help from his Elasto Painters teammates. Belga was the top scoring Rain or Shine local with 8 points.
San Mig Coffee 78 - Blakely 17, Sangalang 13, Devance 10, Simon 10, Pingris 7, Yap 7, Barroca 6, Reavis 6, Melton 2, Maliksi 0.
Rain or Shine 69 - Reid 31, Belga 8, Cruz 6, Arana 6, Almazan 4, Chan 4, Tiu 3, Ibanes 2, Lee 2, Norwood 2, Rodriguez 1, Tang 0, Nuyles 0.
Quarterscores: 17-14, 39-30, 58-55, 78-69