A FEARLESS, cold-blooded gunner since his college days at Far Eastern University, Jeff Chan admitted being nervous as he saw Rain or Shine's lead dwindle in the face of a furious San Mig endgame rally.
Shades of Game Three and Four, he feared.
Still, Chan had enough guts to take matters into his own hands, hitting two clutch three-point shots before capping his late heroics with a tough fade-away corner jumper off Peter June Simon’s defense as he went on to seal Rain or Shine’s 81-74 Game Five win over San Mig.
“Oo, medyo kinakabahan pa rin ako saka nire-remind ko teammates ko na huwag kami bibitaw,” said Chan, who scored all but one of his 24 points in the second half. "Kasi yung last two games namin, five points na ang lamang namin, eh bumitaw kami, so para malaman nila na imporante itong game na ito."
Chan, whose shot at a game-winner in Game Three fell short of the mark, said Paul Lee’s offensive struggle on Sunday also challenged him to be more aggressive in the second half.
He wanted the win more than anybody else, no doubt.
“Attack mode lang, kasi ayaw ko i-give up yung game eh. Gusto ko pa maglaro saka goal namin umabot ng Game Seven,” he said.
Now, the left-handed shooter from Bacolod hopes he and Lee would find their range at the same time in Game Six on Wednesday to enhance the Painters' chances of dragging the Mixers to a winner-take-all Game Seven.
“Two games na ring mababa ang scoring ko so kailangan ko talaga gumawa,” he said. “Hopefully, sa next game, para 'di ganun kahirap, magsabay na kami (pumutok ni Paul Lee), para mas maganda kalalabasan.”