A RESILIENT Rain or Shine unit simply refused to lose in a game to remember, hacking out a dramatic 113-110 victory over San Miguel Beer to knot their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series at one game apiece on Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Colisem.
The Elasto Painters turned to undersized import Wendell Mckines, who stood tallest with his heart, determination, and boundless energy by pouring in 53 points as he almost singlehandedly carried his team and negated Marcio Lassiter’s searing shooting from downtown.
Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan also delivered key baskets down the stretch as the Painters completed a monumental turnaround after being down by as many as 20 points.
When Chan buried the game-winning three-pointer from the right wing off an SMB turnover with 7.6 seconds left, the Painters successfully turned the tables after they wasted a huge 24-point lead to lose Game One, 101-95.
“This is one of the most amazing comebacks I’ve ever coached,” Painters coach Yeng Guiao said. “We survived the incredible three-point shooting of not just Lassiter, but the whole San Miguel team.”
“Only God can script a game like this.”
Game Three is on Monday night also at the Big Dome.
Lassiter knocked down a career-high and league playoff high-tying 10 triples as he led a hot SMB outside shooting night that also saw AZ Reid hitting seven threes, Arwind Santos two, and Alex Cabagnot and Ronald Tubid with one each.
But that proved insufficient to the 6-foot-4 Mckines’ one-man show, scoring at will from strong drives as well as the foul line that frustrated the tall SMB defense led by June Mar Fajardo.
Mckines finished with 17 boards, five assists, five blocks, and two steals as he epitomized the Painters’ desire to win after falling in a 76-56 hole halfway through the third quarter.
Lassiter wound up with a career-high 31 points, but committed a crucial turnover off a timeout that set the stage for Chan’s heroics on the other end.
ROS 113 – McKines 53, Quinahan 11, Ibanes 10, Norwood 9, Lee 8, Chan 6, Arana 6, Tiu 5, Uyloan 3, Almazan 2, Cruz Jericho 0
SMB 110 – Reid 33, Lassiter 31, Fajardo 15, Santos 11, Ross 7, Tubid 5, Cabagnot 4, Lutz 2, De Ocampo 2, Espinas 0
Quarterscores: 26-26, 48-53, 77-89, 113-110