source: Reynaldo Belen | InterAKTV
Devastated by issues surrounding the franchise, the Powerade Tigers looked for inspiration from the only person in the roster who wasn’t a member of its finals run last conference: Dwayne Jones.
The NBA veterand finished with 34 points and 21 rebounds in 40 minutes and the Tigers squad roared back for a 122-120 win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
“I know that deep inside our players will be distracted, and the only man who can inspire us is Dwayne Jones,” said Powerade coach Bo Perasol, who learned on Friday morning that team executive JB Baylon has resigned from his post with Coca-Cola Export Company. Perasol dedicated the victory to Baylon, who was instrumental in putting the team together.
“It’s difficult for the team to go through this — the resignation of our governor, trade talks and impending sale, but we got we got the inspiration we needed from Dwayne Jones, and the character of JVee Casio, Marcio Lassiter and Gary David. They gave us hope and it made us realized that we’re still in competition and there’s no time for us to sit back and think about those obstacles. We have to get over it and be professional enough to do our jobs,” added Perasol.
The Elasto Painters were in control for most of the game, posting its biggest lead of the game, 76-59, at the 6:06 mark of the third quarter.
But just like when it made its Cinderella run to the finals in the Philippine Cup, Powerade mounted a big comeback.
Gary David triggered the team’s uprising, scoring six points in an 18-6 run that enabled Powerade to grab the lead, 101-100, with 7:58 left in the game.
David, the Best Player of the Philippine Cup, finished with 32 points behind 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc.
His last three-pointer shattered the game’s final deadlock and gave Powerade a 122-119 lead with 13.7 seconds remaining.
Casio overcame a poor start by scoring all 14 of his points in the second half along with 13 assists, while Lassiter, who is part of a controversial proposed trade for the team, added 13 points.
Powerade (122) – Jones 34, David 32, Casio 14, Lassiter 13, Calimag 11, Anthony 9, Vanlandingham 6, Allera 3, Martinez 0, Lingganay 0, Kramer 0, Cruz 0, Adducul 0.
Rain or Shine (120) – Crews 23, Norwood 16, Chan 13, Arana 13, Quinahan 12, Cruz 10, Belga 9, Lee 8, Buenafe 7, Ibanes 7,Matias 2.
Quarterscores: 24-33; 50-59; 83-94; 122-120.