Rain or Shine deals Purefoods first loss in Zamboanga
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – It was a sweet birthday for Paul Lee as his Rain or Shine Elasto Painters dealt the Purefoods Star Hotshots their first loss in the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup, 78-71, at Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte.
Lee was named player of the game with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and two assists.
The Elasto Painters improved 3-2, while the Hotsots remain in second place at 4-1. Purefoods' loss leaves the Meralco Bolts as the only unbeaten team so far in the conference.
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Import Daniel Orton had another impressive outing in just his second game with Purefoods, finishing with a game-high 23 points to go along with 23 rebounds and 7 blocks - most of which were against Lee.
Purefoods built a double-digit lead in the first half after Alex Mallari drilled a jumper and a free throw to put the Hotshots up by 14, 38-24 at the 3:54 mark of the second quarter.
But Rain or shine would go on a 14-2 run to end the first half down by just two, 40-38.
In the third quarter, the game was tied at 42 with 10:13 to go when Jeff Chan and Paul Lee would drill three-straight triples that gave Rain or Shine the lead for good, 51-42.
Hometown hero Mark Barroca, who finished with 11 points, tried his best to keep the game close. His jumper in transition with 4:10 left in the third period would cut the deficit to just 4, 53-49. Barroca then hit two free throws that got the Hotshots within two, 53-51, but that was the closest Purefoods would get to Rain or Shine.
In the fourth period, Rain or Shine did enough on both sides of the floor to keep Purefoods at bay. With 3:26 remaining, Beau Belga found import Rick Jackson inside for a floater. Two minutes later, Belga hit the nail on the coffin by banking in a triple, 78-69.
Head coaches Yeng Guiao and Tim Cone exchanged timeouts with the game all but decided as Rain or Shine tried to add to their lead owing to the quotient system. The Elasto Painters failed to score and the game ended with an Orton layup near the buzzer.
Rain or Shine (78) - Lee 18, Chan 12, Jackson 12, Belga 10, Norwood 7, Tiu 6, Arana 6, Uyloan 3, Tang 2, Quinahan 2, Almazan 0, Cruz 0.
Purefoods (71) - Orton 23, Barroca 11, Maliksi 9, Mallari 7, Devance 6, Melton 6, Pingris 4, Pennisi 3, Yap 1, Taha 1, Reavis 0.
Quarter scores: 18-20, 38-40, 60-53, 78-71