JEFF Chan led Rain or Shine’s fourth-quarter rampage, pouring in 12 of his game-high 22 points in that stretch to lead the Elasto Painters to a come-from-behind 101-93 victory over Alaska Milk on Friday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The hot-shooting Chan scored all but four of the Painters' first 16 points in the final period before JR Quinahan, Beau Belga, and Gabe Norwood joined the scoring spree that turned a six-point deficit into an 87-84 lead, with eight minutes remaining in the game.
On the other hand, a defense that made Alaska's one-two punch of JVee Casio and Cyrus Baguio bleed for their points enabled Rain or Shine to move up to solo second with its 6-2 record while ending the five-game win streak of the Aces.
Casio and Baguio each had 16 points for Alaska. However, the 5-8 Casio was held scoreless in the final period, while Baguio only had four in the same stretch.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao later reiterated that their defense was focused on Casio and Baguio and not on Alaska’s super rookie Calvin Abueva, who nonetheless had a quiet seven-points, six-rebound performance in just 18 minutes of action.
“We know Abueva has not lost a game since he played (for Alaska). But we don’t want to be distracted by his performance. Di naman yung 'The Beast' ang papatay sa amin eh kundi yung mga surut (bed bugs),” said Guiao, referring to Baguio and Casio.
“Credit them (Elasto Painters) because they played great defense in the second half. JVee got trapped a few times by their defense,” said Aalska coach Luigi Trillo.
“Rain or Shine moved the ball well. And Jeff Chan was able to score 12 in the fourth. Maybe we’re due for one (loss). It’s a tough schedule. We played Talk ‘N Text, then Rain or Shine, and next is San Mig. But those teams will make us tougher. This will prepare us for the playoffs."
Trillo also rued the Aces' failure to play consistent defense in the final period, allowing Rain or Shine to outscore the Aces, 30-16 in that stretch.
"You give up 30 points in the fourth. We were supposed to trap sometimes, we were not trapping. The guys in the court, they seemed lost. I can't see how we could have won the game when Rain or Shine scored 28 and 30 in the third and fourth. We had some guys who had some off nights and missed shots,” added Trillo.
Rain or Shine 101 - Chan 22, Quinahan 20, Arana 13, Rodriguez 12, Norwood 9, Matias 8, Belga 7, Tang 4, Ibanes 4, Cruz 2
Alaska 93 - Casio 16, Baguio 16, Espinas 13, Baracael 9, Dela Cruz 8, Hontiveros 8, Abueva 7, Jazul 6, Thoss 4, Laure 4, Eman 2, Reyes 0
Quarterscores: 22-25, 43-47, 71-77, 101-93