Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Rain or Shine eliminates Ginebra, books semis ticket
Rain or Shine followed its game plan perfectly to beat Barangay Ginebra, 106-91, and sweep their best-of-three quarterfinal series in the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at the jam-packed Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The Elasto Painters were unstoppable early in the game, hitting six three-pointers in the first quarter to erect a 41-24 lead that took the rhythm out of the Kings. Rain or Shine will face Powerade in a best-of-seven semifinal series.
Jeff Chan was the maestro in that sizzling first period salvo with nine quick points, and the former FEU forward finished the game with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field.
But it was really a total team effort for Rain or Shine, which is now just four wins shy of reaching its first finals campaign since entering the league in 2006.
“We got to a really good start and that was the key in this game,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
“We kept our game plan simple — double-team their guards — and our defensive game plan against their guards worked. Our offense just took care of itself.”
Chan drew solid support from his teammates with Ronjay Buenafe hitting 13 points, Ronnie Matias and Beau Belga each scoring 12 points, Ryan Arana added 11 and Gabe Norwood and JR Quinahan each adding nine points for the Elasto Painters, who are now in their second final four semifinal stint.
Mike Cortez had 17 points for the Kings, the second higher-seeded team to bow out of the all-Filipino tournament after top seed B-MEG, which was stunned by the No. 8 Tigers. Ginebra was No. 4 while Rain or Shine ranked fifth, despite the two teams carrying similar 9-5 win-loss records prior to the series.
Rain or Shine’s lead ballooned to as much as 24 points, 53-29. The closest Ginebra could get was by 13 points, 63-50 with 7:30 remaining in the third quarter.
But Rain or Shine responded with key baskets and pushed the lead back to 78-61 entering the fourth period. The Painters were never seriously threatened since.
RAIN OR SHINE 106 – Chan 22, Buenafe 13, Matias 12, Belga 12, Arana 11, Norwood 9, Quinahan 9, Lee 8, Rodriguez 6, Cruz 4, Tang 0.
GINEBRA 91 – Cortez 17, Canaleta 13, Intal 12, Caguioa 11, Mamaril 10, Labagala 8, Villanueva 8, W. Wilson 6, Helterbrand 6, Tubid 0.
Quarters: 41-24, 58-37, 78-61, 106-91