Barako Bull, San Mig Coffee win
MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE) Rain or Shine put up a special game in this special PBA treat, bouncing back from a loss the last time out with a resounding 106-81 tripping of Meralco at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
Beaten by the Talk n Text Tropang Texters in a close game in Victorias, Negros Occidental Saturday, the Elasto Painters vented their ire on the Bolts, essaying a big rout to regain a piece of second place in the Philippine Cup with the Alaska Milk Aces at 5-2.
"We felt bad losing our last against Talk n Text, and we thought one way to redeem ourselves is to beat one of the hottest teams in the league at the moment," said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
"We're ready to play match-ups. Their top three scorers are their guards, and we prepared against them. Our defenders really did a good job, and that's the key. We didn't let them get their usual confidence and rhythm. It started with our defense and continued over to our offense," Guiao also said after hacking out the biggest rout in the season thus far.
Clicking on all cylinders in their return from the halftime huddle, the Elasto Painters led by as many as 33, 94-61, early in the fourth quarter before settling for the 25-point win – the team's largest winning margin in a game since a 113-83 demolition of Shopinas last March 16.
A crowd of over 19,000 witnessed the lopsided match handing Meralco a third loss against four wins.
"I'm really surprised we beat them in the manner we beat them today. I was looking forward to a tight, endgame struggle. But we got our rhythm both offensively and defensively. We ran the breaks in the third quarter and broke away from then on," said Guiao.
The Elasto Painters made key defensive stops to fuel a torrid attack enabling them to pull away at 59-37.
The Painters took four straight steals in one crucial stretch in the third quarter that ended with RoS on top by 27 at 80-53.
Rain or Shine was also impressive with its outside shooting with Jireh Ibanes, Beau Belga, Ryan Arana, TY Tang and Ronnie Matias combining for an 8-of-9 three-point clip.
Ibanes topscored with 23 points that went with two rebounds, two steals, two assists and one block against one error in just 25 minutes of action.
In the first game, Ronald Tubid scored the winning shot after Barako Bull took possesion from a wild scramble, giving the Energy Cola a 95-94 win over Globalport Batang Pier.
The Batang Pier missed two field-goal attempts inside the final minute, allowing the Energy Cola to check a three-game skid and improve their record to 3-5.
"Muntik na akong maihi (I nearly peed)," said Barako coach Junel Baculi of the topsy-turvy action after Tubid missed a layup in the closing seconds.
In the nightcap, San Mig Coffee had a dominant showing of its own against the crippled Barangay Ginebra team, carving out a 78-68 win to also move up to joint second at 5-2.
Injuries to Kerby Raymundo, Jayjay Helterbrand, Alein Maliksi and Dylan Ababou worsened the Kings' woes, sending Ginebra down to 2-5.
Almost everybody on the floor dived for the loose ball with Sean Anthony eventually winning possession then setting up Tubid for the winning basket.
Josh Vanlandingham managed to make one final attempt to salvage the game for Globalport but missed as the Batang Pier reeled with a seventh loss in eight starts.
NOTES: The PBA triple-treat drew a huge gate attendance of 19,718, surpassing the opening-day crowd of 18,901….Meralco is now 0-10 coming off back-to-back wins since getting a four-game streak in the 2010 first conference…..On some few words he threw at Cliff Hodge in the third quarter, fiery RoS coach Yeng Guiao said: "Binyag lang sa rookies 'yon."