RAIN or Shine finally overcame another flat start to tie the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Semifinals at one game apiece following a 109-100 win over Ginebra on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Like the first game, the Elasto Painters trailed by 14 early in the first quarter but this time they had a better finishing kick as they ended the match on a 12-0 blast to steal the game away from Ginebra.
“I’m so proud of my players right now they came out and played hard. We were down again in the first quarter but we never gave up,” said Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia.
“In the end we won it because we hit the bigger shots. And we played great defense in the last three minutes,” he added.
James Yap led the backbreaking run in the final three minutes after they trailed Ginebra by three, 100-97 with three minutes and 17 seconds to go.
Yap and Gabe Norwood scored back-to-back baskets to push Rain or Shine ahead by one before Reggie Johnson drained a big three to push the lead of the Elasto Painters to four, 104-100 with 1:42 remaining in the game.
Yap, the two-time PBA MVP, then drained the biggest basket of the night as his three-pointer gave the Elasto Painters a 107-100 lead with 1:07 remaining.
Johnson went two assists away from a 20-20 triple-double as he finished with 25 points and 20 rebounds while Yap added 18 points on 7-12 shooting.
Norwood chipped in 12 as Chris Tiu and Raymond Almazan bounced back from a sub-par Game One with 11 and 10 points respectively.
Justin Brownlee led Ginebra with 29 points and 12 boards while Greg Slaughter came off the bench to finish with 20 points, eight boards and four assists.
ROS 109 – Johnson 25, Yap 18, Norwood 12, Tiu 11, Almazan 10, Daquioag 9, Borboran 9, Nambatac 6, Belga 5, Ahanmisi 4, Ponferada 0, Washington 0
GINEBRA 100 – Brownlee 29, Slaughter 20, Tenorio 17, Thompson 14, Chan 8, Devance 5, Caguioa 4, Ferrer 3, Mercado 0, Cruz 0
Quarters: 26-36, 57-57, 87-87, 109-100