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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – So far in 2014, things have been good for both the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Meralco Bolts. The Bolts have seemingly turned things around since the arrival of Danny Ildefonso, while Rain or Shine has been on a roll themselves with a 5-game winning streak and are tied for second place in the standings with Petron.
So when these two teams met on Wednesday, January 15 at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, something had to give.
Fortunately for Rain or Shine, Lady Luck smiled upon them as JR Quiñahan hit the game-winning triple at the buzzer for an 89-86 triumph in the PLDT myDSL Philippine Cup.
Quiñahan had shot 0-3 from beyond the arc and only had two points to his name before he was fielded in by coach Yeng Guiao for the final play with .7 of a second left in regulation.
The burly 6-6 center was the recipient of the inbound from Gabe Norwood for a catch-and-shoot situation. The game could have gone to overtime after Meralco’s Gary David nailed the game-tying three-pointer, 86-86, with 8.6 seconds left.
Quinahan turned out to be a good substitution for Guiao.
“I just felt that one great shot deserves another,” Guiao said after the game. “The great shot taken by Gary and an even bigger shot taken by JR because it’s the winning shot. One tsamba (lucky shot) deserves another.”
The 29-year old Quiñahan from the University of the Visayas not only gave Rain or Shine a 10-3 slate for solo second place, but also their sixth straight victory–a first in the franchise’s 6 years in the PBA, per PBA head statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
“We’re lucky. We’re riding a streak of good luck,” Guiao said.
Luck may have played its part for Rain or Shine in this game since they found it particularly difficult to break away from Meralco.
Both teams engaged in a seesaw battle since tip-off evidenced by 10 lead changes and 13 deadlocks.
The rebounding battle was won by Meralco, 56-53. But Rain or Shine edged the Bolts in field goal efficiency just enough to eke out the victory.
The Painters shot 25-of-58 field goals, while Meralco took more attempts at 67 but made the same 25 field goals.
Rain or Shine also made a living on making the Bolts pay for their 12 turnovers, scoring 18 points off of it. At the same time, Guiao’s men took care of the leather remarkably well as they limited their miscues to only 6 for the entire game.
Meralco, on the other hand, just failed to make the necessary stops and convert on several crucial possessions towards the end as they absorbed their first loss of the year. They are now tied for sixth place with Globalport and Barako Bull with a 5-8 win-loss card.
Of all the teams right now, Rain or Shine is sizzling the most with their win streak–something that Guiao understands adds to their momentum heading into the playoffs.
“We’re taking this momentum all the way to where it’s going to take us,” he said. Though he admits to feeling pressure over maintaining their winning ways.
“Somehow there’s some pressure there knowing that you’re on a streak. But we try to just put this at the back of our heads and just keep on going to try to salvage a second place for the twice-to-beat advantage.”
Rain or Shine (89): Chan 16, Lee 14, Norwood 10, Cruz 8, Belga 7, Almazan 7, Ibanes 7, Rodriguez 6, Quinahan 5, Nuyles 4, Teng 3, Tiu 2, Arana 0, Tang 0.
Meralco (86): David 25, Wilson 12, Hugnatan 11, Dillinger 11, Salvacion 8, Artadi 6, Al-Hussaini 5, Ildefonso 4, Hodge 4, Guevarra 0.
Quarters: 23-21, 45-45, 70-64, 89-86 – Rappler.com