NEVER ever underestimate the shooting hands of a Jeff Chan.
Given a lot of open looks by Alaska’s defense, Chan was quick to take advantage and made the Aces paid the price by hitting one clutch baskets after the other in Rain or Shine’s runaway 92-78 win over the defending PBA Commissioner’s Cup champion Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Gilas Pilipinas gunner scored all of his 24 points in the second half, where he went 6-of-10 from the three-point range.
For a disciplined team like Alaska, Chan admitted being surprised that he got so many open looks from the outside as his defender Calvin Abueva tend to sag on defense, leaving him with enough space to make his shots.
“Narinig ko si coach Luigi (Trillo), nung naka-dalawang three points na ako, si Calvin Abueva yata yun eh, sinabihan niya na huwag ka na mag-sag,” recalled Chan about the conversation he heard at Alaska’s bench.
“Pero siguro mindset niya (Abueva)mag-help, kaya nagulat lang ako di niya sinunod si coach,” said the 6-foot-2 shooting guard out of Far Eastern University.
At the same time, Chan said his shooter’s mentality urged him to get active on offense in the second half especially after import Alexander Mclean was limited in his scoring by Alaska counterpart Rob Dozier.
“Iyung import namin na-check kasi nung first half, so sabi ko, di puwede ito. Kapag binalik ako, titira ko na ito,” said Chan.
Unlike in the first half where he admitted trying to force his shots, the last two quarters were far different for the Bacolod City-born guard.
“Kinukuha ko kumpiyansa ko dun sa second (half) like yung foul counted. Kasi yung first half pinipilit ko eh,” he added.
Chan hopes the big win against the reigning champion will get the Elasto Painters’ title aspirations going following a runner-up finish in the last Philippine Cup.
Rain or Shine returns to action next Wednesday when it clashes with San Miguel Beer also at the Big Dome.