BINAN, Laguna - Paul Lee led a decisive third-quarter tear as a sharp, resolute Rain or Shine side dealt Barangay Ginebra a 117-108 defeat on Sunday night in a PBA Governors Cup road game at the Alonte Sports Arena.
Lee came away with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting, making his biggest mark in the third quarter when the Elasto Painters went on a run that broke open what until then had been an exciting, see-sawing shootout.
The former University of the East star scored 18 of his points in the second half and 12 came in the third quarter, when Rain or Shine opened an 83-73 lead that only got bigger in the final period.
The win was the third in a row for the Elasto Painters, who at 4-3 (win-loss) moved up to a share of fifth place with San Miguel Beer and in the hunt for a Top 4 place entering the knockout rounds.
On the other hand, Ginebra suffered their second loss in three games and fell to 4-2 - still good for a share of second place with San Mig and Air21 - a full game behind solo leader Talk 'N Text.
But it by no means an all-Lee show for Rain or Shine, which also got 31 points and seven rebounds from import AZ Reid and 18 points from gunner Jeff Chan.
Fit-again Jervy Cruz also caught fire late for Rain or Shine, hitting a couple of baskets including a buzzer-beating jumper that opened a 103-86 lead with 5:46 remaining.
"We shot the ball well with Jeff (Chan), AZ (Reid) and Paul. Matagal na ring hindi nagki-click ng sabay-sabay so they were very useful today," said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
The Elasto Painters were so sharp they outscored Ginebra in fastbreak points, 27-11, and off turnovers, 23-8. They also made 10 of 24 shots from beyond the three-point arc.
Zach Mason scored 25 points but went just 6-of-19 from the floor. Rookie Greg Slaughter added 20 points and 13 rebounds for Ginebra, which got within 102-108 after a Mason three-point play with 2:34 to go.
Lee, however, knocked the wind off rallying Ginebra's sails when he banked in a three-pointer in the next Rain or Shine possession.
Rain or Shine 117 - Reid 31, Lee 24, Chan 18, Belga 12, Cruz 8, Norwood 6, Arana 5, Tang 3, Almazan 2, Teng 2, Uyloan 2, Rodriguez 2, Ibanes 2, Nuyles 0, Tiu 0.
Ginebra 108 - Mason 25, Slaughter 20, Tenorio 13, Helterbrand 12, Caguioa 11, Ellis 11, Aguilar 10, Baracael 4, Reyes 2, Mamaril 0.
Quarterscores: 30-30, 53-55, 83-73, 117-108