RAIN or Shine showed it can protect a lead this time — barely.
The Elasto Painters faced another fightback from San Miguel Beer but held on to hack out a 105-97 victory on Thursday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum and knot their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series at one game apiece.
The E-Painters built a 25-point lead that was trimmed to just five points down the stretch, before converting their charities to seal the outcome.
“It’s almost the same story all over again, but fortunately for us, it had a different ending,” Painters coach Yeng Guiao said.
Game Three is on Saturday also at the Big Dome.
Jeff Chan bounced back from a scoreless outing as he fired 16 points - six on back-to-back three-pointers in the homestretch - to lead eight Painters with at least eight points each.
Don Trollano, who didn’t see a single minute in the opener of the best-of-seven series, got the start in Game Two and repaid Guiao’s faith by tallying 13 markers on 5-of-6 shooting in 18 minutes.
June Mar Fajardo put up another dominant effort with 38 points, 17 boards, one steal, and one block in 39 minutes, but the SMB superstar missed 10 of his 22 free throws.
The reigning MVP, though, led the Beermen’s comeback by scoring 14 points in the final frame, including a stab that nudged his team to within five points, 102-97 with 44 seconds left after they fell into a 59-34 hole late in the second quarter.
Alex Cabagnot added 24 points, three steals, two assists, and two boards in a losing effort for the Beermen.
ROS 105 – Chan 16, Trollano 13, Quinahan 12, Lee 11, Almazan 10, Norwood 10, Ahanmisi 9, Cruz 8, Belga 7, Ponferada 6, Tiu 3
SMB 97 – Fajardo 38, Cabagnot 24, Lassiter 13, Santos 10, Tubid 7, Lutz 3, Espinas 2, Arana 0, De Ocampo 0, Heruela 0, Reyes 0, Ross 0, Omolon 0
Quarterscores: 31-15, 49-34, 79-65, 105-97