Rain or Shine’s role players stepped up when Paul Lee had to leave with an injury in the second half as the Painters cruised past Barako Bull, 100-90, on Sunday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
TY Tang scored nine points and dished out five assists in 26 minutes off the bench as he filled the gap left by Lee, who missed the whole second half after dislocating his shoulder late in the second period.
Jireh Ibañes contributed offensively as well, hitting all of his five shots to finish with 11 markers, while playing tough defense on Energy import Leroy Hickerson.
Lee’s injury was minor and he was ready to play in the second half, but Painters coach Yeng Guiao didn’t see the need to risk it.
“I don’t think it’s serious,” Guiao said. “Gabe (Norwood) and TY were doing a good job at the point anyway so it wasn’t necessary to put (Lee) back.”
Ibañes helped the Painters limit Hickerson, who entered the game with a tournament-leading 35 points per game, to just 24.
“We prepared hard for Hickerson,” Guiao said.
Jeff Chan scored 19 points and Norwood added 15 for the Painters, now at 6-1.
So balanced was Rain or Shine’s attack that import Jamelle Cornely didn’t even play in the fourth after registering 18 points.
“It was a well-balanced attack,” Guiao said. “We didn’t need Jamelle to score a lot of points.”
The Painters led by as many as 19 points, the last at 90-71 after a basket from Jervy Cruz.
“We did a good job closing out quarters and we were able to protect our lead,” Guiao said.
The Energy cut the deficit to 86-96 after a Don Allado basket with 1:23 remaining but the rally came a little too late and the squad reeled to its third loss in six games.
Doug Kramer added 16 points for the Energy.
RAIN OR SHINE 100 - Chan 19, Cornely 18, Norwood 15, Ibañes 11, Buenafe 9, Cruz 6, Tang 6, Quiñahan 6, Lee 4, Belga 4, Matias 2, Jaime 0
BARAKO 90 - Hickerson 24, Kramer 16, Najorda 12, Allado 8, Miller 7, Cruz 6, Cervantes 4, Sharma 4, Vergara 3, Tubid 3, Pennisi 3
Quarterscores: 30-27, 57-43, 76-59, 100-90