JEFF Chan buried the go-ahead three-pointer with 8.2 seconds left before Gabe Norwood made a key steal and a pair of free throws in the end as Rain or Shine survived a strong Barako Bull fightback, 99-95, in their PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup match on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The red-hot Chan banged in 34 points, one point shy of his career-best, while going 7-of-10 from beyond the arc. His late three-pointer put Rain or Shine’s head above water after former MVP Willie Miller hit the fallaway jumper that put Barako Bull on top.
“Jeff was playing well all night long," Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said. "It’s just appropriate that it was his shot that won us the game.”
Barako Bull had one last chance to force overtime after Chan’s three-point shot gave Rain or Shine a 97-95 lead with eight seconds left, but Norwood stole JC Intal’s pass to Mick Pennisi off a Barako timeout.
The 6-5 Norwood sealed Rain or Shine’s sixth win in nine starts with a pair of foul shots.
“We played a bad second half. We just relaxed a little bit, but it’s a good thing Jeff saved the day for us,” said Guiao, whose team appeared headed for an easy win despite missing the services of wide-bodied big man Beau Belga due to measles.
They led for much of the first half and in the early part of the third period when Larry Rodriguez’s two free throws gave the E-Painters their largest lead at 58-43.
But the Energy slowly worked their way back into the game, mainly through the combined offensives of JC Intal, veteran center Dorian Pena, Rico Maierhofer and guard Dennis Miranda.
Intal scored 12 of his team-high 16 points in the second half, while Pena and Maierhofer repeatedly scored in the painted area, abusing Rain or Shine’s undersized frontline.
Miller then joined the fray when he buried a wide-open jump shot off Pena’s pick to give Barako Bull a 95-94 lead with 18 seconds to play.
“Barako Bull gave us a really tough time. They did not give up even if we had a double-digit lead in the first half. They just played great individually,” added Guiao.
The Energy, who shot just five triples in the game, fell to 3-7 (win-loss) as they remained in ninth place with four games to go on their schedule in the two-round eliminations.
Rain or Shine 99 - Chan 34, Lee 14, Cruz 8, Nuyles 8, Norwood 8, Quinahan 6, Tang 6, Teng 5, Rodriguez 4, Arana 2, Almazan 2, Tiu 2, Ibanes 0.
Barako Bull 95 - Intal 16, Pena 15, Maierhofer 14, Miranda 14, Miller 9, Pennisi 6, Lastimosa 5, Isip 5, Jensen 4, Macapagal 3, Marcelo 2, Labagala 2, Wilson 0, Buenafe 0.
Quarterscores: 28-21, 56-42, 75-69, 99-95