NO BACKING DOWN

By: Calvin D. Cordova January 10,2016 - 02:59 AM
PBA-IMAGE-105

Cebuano big man JR Quinahan secures rebound for Rain or Shine, which defeated San Miguel Beer, 111-106, in last night’s Game 3 of their best-of-seven semifinal series at the Mall of Asia Arena. (PBA IMAGES)

Game today
Araneta Coliseum
5 p.m.- Alaska vs. GlobalPort
Game 4, Best-of-7
*Alaska leads series, 2-1

Undersized, undermanned but never outfought.

Minus one key big man, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters survived a dogfight with the San Miguel Beermen to pull off a critical 111-106 win last night in Game 3 of their 41st PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinal series at the Mall of Asia Arena.

It was Rain or Shine’s second straight win in the series to go up two games to one.

The Elasto Painters could have been easily up 3-0 had they not squandered a 22-point lead and a 91-71 advantage entering the fourth quarter of their 105-109 Game 1 loss.

Rain or Shine won Game 2, 105-97, in a game where it led by as many as 20 points.

There were no big leads for Rain or Shine in Game 3 but they showed big heart to come away with the hard-fought win.

Rain or Shine was without Raymond Almazan, who sat out with a sprained ankle, but Beau Belga ably filled up the slack, winning Best Player of the Game honors with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Belga also keyed Rain or Shine’s strong finish.

The Beermen surged ahead, 98-96, on a three-pointer by Marcio Lassiter in the final 43.7 seconds but Jericho Cruz answered with his own trifecta to hand the lead back to the Elasto Painters, 99-98.

After a Lassiter turnover, Belga knocked down a booming triple then made an unmolested layup for a 104-98 Rain or Shine lead with 2:33 to go.

Lassiter kept San Miguel in the game with a triple but Gabe Norwood completed an acrobatic reversed layup while being fouled by Fajardo.

Norwood made the bonus fee throw as Rain or Shine took a 107-101 with exactly two minutes left.

Lassiter continued to wax hot, dropping another three-pointer then Fajardo scored in the paint, pushing the Beermen within 106-107.

San Miguel got a big defensive stop in the next play but couldn’t capitalize when Lassiter missed a runner.

Lassiter was then called for a flagrant foul-penalty one when he sent Cruz crashing to the stands.

Cruz hurt his left knee in the play and was stretchered off the court.

Lassiter’s infraction gave Rain or Shine two free throws and ball possession with five seconds left.

Chris Tiu converted four straight free throws to ice the win.

“It’s a very hard win for us. We had to pay a big cost to win this game,” said coach Yeng Guiao.

Paul Lee top scored for the Rain or Shine with 18 points. Norwood and Jeff Chan each added 13 points, while Tiu and Jewel Ponferrada donated 12 markers apiece.

Fajardo again tallied big numbers as he led the Beermen with 40 points, 20 rebounds and four blocked shots.

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TAGS: Jeff Chan, Marcio Lassiter, Rain or shine Elasto Painters, San Miguel Beermen
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