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PBA Fastbreak: Clutch RoS takes Finals Game One

Enzo Flojo
PBA writer Enzo Flojo breaks down how Rain or Shine was able to defeat San Mig Coffee in Game One of the Philippine Cup Finals

SHINING. Rain or Shine's Ryan Arana goes up for a shot over San Mig's Ian Sangalang. Photo by Nuki Sabio/PBA Images

Rain or Shine over San Mig Super Coffee, 83-80


The Best: Coach Tim Cone played this one tight, using 10 players in his rotation (Yancy De Ocampo however played just 1 minute). In contrast, coach Yeng Guiao, true to form, used 14 guys on the floor, with nobody playing fewer than 7 minutes and more than 29. It was a great contest of differing styles, with RoS’s shooting and speed countering SMC’s size and athleticism. In the end, despite struggling from the field, the backcourt tandem of Jeff Chan and Paul Lee came through in the clutch for the Painters. Chan hit his only two triples in a critical stretch in the fourth quarter that helped set up Lee’s game-winning heroics in the waning seconds.

Prior to hitting those big treys, Chan had mostly misfired throughout, scoring just 2 points. He ended up with 8 markers and 4 assists. Lee, meanwhile, fared even worse, shooting 1/7 from the floor prior to hitting the alley-oop lay-up (care of a Gabe Norwood inbound lob) that broke an 80-all deadlock. He finished with 6 points, 3 boards, 2 assists, and 2 steals.

The Worst: Two endgame lapses did the Mixers in here — Mark Barroca’s decision to switch on a flare screen that led to Lee being wide open for the alley-oop and the Mixers’ calling a timeout after that basket. That timeout led to a technical foul because, well, the Mixers didn’t have any timeouts left to call at that point. Together, those two mistakes proved costly for San Mig, as they now find themselves in a 0-1 hole. To compound things, the Mixers didn’t shoot nearly as well as they did in their huge Game 7 win over Ginebra the other day. Joe Devance had the Mixers’ lone three-pointer of the night. As a team, they went 1/11. Also, coach Cone’s wards shot just 50% from the line, with Marc Pingris, PJ Simon, Alex Mallari, and Rafi Reavis all contributing bricks. 

Spread the Wealth: As always, Rain or Shine didn’t lean on just one or two players for this triumph. As expected, the Painters enjoyed contributions from all fronts, with 12 of the 14 guys fielded in scoring at least 2 points. The highest scorers were inside operators Beau Belga and Jervy Cruz, who scored 15 markers each. Belga added 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block, while Cruz grabbed 7 rebounds. Seven other guys scored 5 points or more for coach Yeng, who has become the poster-boy for a “no star player” mindset. So far, it has worked for him and the Painters, who are just three wins away from claiming the title that eluded them last season. –

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