Rain or Shine clinches top seed after beating down KIA
MANILA, Philippines – The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters dominated from start to finish on their way to a 119-99 victory over the KIA Carnival and clinching the top seed with the twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs of the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Sunday, March 22 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Wayne Chism led 6 Painters in double figures with 28 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 blocks. Sophomore Raymond Almazan was valuable off the bench with his 16 points and 9 rebounds.
"That's really what we were looking for," head coach Yeng Guiao said of Rain or Shine securing first place with an 8-3 record to end the eliminations.
The Painters wound up in first place due to superior quotient despite holding a similar record with Purefoods and potential 8-3 finisher Talk 'N Text.
"The important thing is gaining a twice-to-beat advantage. I don't care who we play as long as we have that advantage."
"We're looking ahead at just watching the next few games and see who will we be paired up against," he added.
Almazan was the primary catalyst at keeping a surging KIA at bay in the fourth, scoring 8 straight points midway to push a single-digit 99-90 edge back up to 107-92 with 5:35 left.
"Raymond Almazan missed the easy shots but he made the difficult shots," Guiao said of the lanky slot man.
After the Painters dropped 41 points in the second to lead by as much as 27 points, the Carnival made a run in the third and outscored their counterparts, 34-21.
But with only import PJ Ramos carrying them, KIA deflated as back-to-back three-pointers from Chris Tiu and TY Tang inside the final two minutes, 119-95, put the game's result beyond doubt.
Guard Paul Lee and swingman Gabe Norwood each tallied 14 and 10 points, respectively. While Tiu and Ryan Araña settled for 13 markers apiece.
Ramos exploded for 45 points and 21 rebounds for the Carnival. He uncorked 20 of those markers in the third but it wasn't enough with the rest of the locals stifled.
"We had problems with the size, power, and strength of PJ Ramos," Guiao said.
"But I think we were able to limit the contributions of the locals, which is why we were able to put up a big lead and protect it."
LA Revilla and Karl Dehesa finished with 15 and 10 points, respectively, as KIA sank to 4-7.
RAIN OR SHINE (119) - Chism 28, Almazan 16, Lee 14, Tiu 13, Arana 13, Norwood 10, Belga 8, Tang 7, Cruz Jericho 4, Chan 4, Quinahan 2, Uyloan 0, Ibanes 0, Teng 0.
KIA (99) - Ramos 45, Revilla 15, Dehesa 10, Cervantes 9, Ighalo 8, Cawaling 2, Thiele 2, Alvarez 2, Pascual 2, Yee 2, Avenido 2, Buensuceso 0, Bartolo 0.
Quarters: 30-26, 71-46, 92-80, 119-99