JEFF Chan ignited a fourth-quarter comeback that enabled Rain or Shine to escape with an 86-83 victory over a tough GlobalPort side in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Rain or Shine lost a 13-point halftime lead and had to play catch-up in the final period before hacking out their fourth win in six starts at the expense of what coach Yeng Guiao described as a 'vastly improved' GlobalPort side.
The Batang Pier, who fell to 3-3 (win-loss), had chances to take the lead in the final seconds or send the game into overtime after Paul Lee knocked in two free throws to open an 86-83 Rain or Shine lead.
But both times, GlobalPort guard Alex Cabagnot ran into a tough defense of Gabe Norwood.
Still, Guiao rued that the Elasto Painters made the game harder than it should have been, pinning the blame on the team's 3-of-10 shooting from the free-throw line.
“Pinahirapan namin ang sarili namin by missing those important free throws. Jeff uncharacteristically missed his free throws. Beau (Belga) missed his free throws also in the endgame,” Guiao said.
To Guiao's horror, GlobalPort quickly razed Rain or Shine’s 13-point halftime lead by outscoring the Elasto Painters, 34-14, in the third period to take a 70-63 lead entering the final period.
Chan, however, broke out of a shooting slump just in time, scoring 11 of his 16 points in the final period to keep Rain or Shine's head above water.
"Our energy is inconsistent, that's why our game is inconsistent," said Guiao. Nonetheless, he felt "we're a veteran team, I always feel we'll make big shots in the end."
Guiao admitted that the Batang Pier have improved by leaps and bounds this season, after winning a grand total of two games under coach Pido Jarencio in the last two conferences of last season.
“I thought that GlobalPort really pushed us all the way to the endgame because we had a 13-point lead at halftime, but they caught up and erased that lead in such a short time,” he added.
Chan topscored with 16 points while Belga added 12 points and Lee and Raymond Almazan chipped in 11 apiece for the Elasto Painters, who will be flying to Davao City to play the Meralco Bolts on Saturday.
Cabagnot led the Batang Pier with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Keith Jensen added 15, while veteran big man Yancy de Ocampo posted a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Rain or Shine 86 - Chan 16, Belga 12, Lee 11, Almazan 11, Cruz Jervy 10, Quinahan 10, Ibanes 8, Cruz Jericho 4, Norwood 3, Teng 1, Tang 0.
GlobalPort 83 - Cabagnot 20, Jensen 15, Pringle 14, De Ocampo 14, Semerad 8, Isip 6, Romeo 3, Buenafe 3, Baclao 0, Ponferada 0, Nabong 0, Taha 0, Caperal 0, Pinto 0.
Quarterscores: 23-20, 49-36, 63-70, 86-83