Rain or Shine goes up 2-1 despite Fajardo’s 40

Naveen Ganglani

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Rain or Shine goes up 2-1 despite Fajardo’s 40
Rain or Shine wins the game but loses Jericho Cruz to injury

MANILA, Philippines – Despite having the odds stacked up against them, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters survived another dominant scoring performance by June Mar Fajardo and an 8-point deficit entering the fourth quarter to defeat the San Miguel Beermen, 111-106, on Saturday, January 9, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The victory gives Rain or Shine a 2-1 Philippine Cup semifinals lead over the defending champions, but towards the end of the game the team lost key player Jericho Cruz to an apparent leg or knee injury.

Cruz was hurt after being on the receiving end of a flagrant one foul by Marcio Lassiter with seconds left in the contest.

“Very hard win for us. We had to pay a big cost to win this game. I’m hoping Jericho’s [injury is] not really serious but from the looks of it, it’s not looking good, at least from our standpoint, from the bench when it happened,” said Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao after his team out-scored San Miguel, 33-20 in the final period, to clinch the victory.

The Elasto Painters already have to play the rest of the series without key big man Raymond Almazan, who injured his ankle during practice on Friday.

“We lost Raymond Almazan for this series. We’re hoping we’re able to extend this series long enough so he can contribute, but again chances of that happening look bleak.”

Rain or Shine had 7 guys score in double-figures led by Paul Lee’s 18. Beau Belga stepped up with 14 points and 14 boards, while Jewel Ponferada and Chris Tiu posted 12 points each.

“The team is designed for others to step up. I think we will just look at the positive side of it,” Guiao said about his team’s reserves, who outscored the Beermen’s, 54-13, in Game 3.

Fajardo led the reigning champions with a dominant 40 points, 20 rebounds, and 4 blocks, while Lassiter posted 22 points and knocked in 6 3-pointers. Arwind Santos and Ronald Tubid were the other San Miguel players to post double-figures with 12 and 11, respectively.

“I think we’ll have to consult with the officials, because there’s just too many touch fouls, especially on Fajardo,” Guiao said post-game, unhappy with the officiating. 

Fajardo took 9 attempts from the foul line and made 6 on Saturday, but in Game 2 went 12-of-22.

“We don’t really understand what a foul is, and what a foul is not.”

32 fouls were called on San Miguel in Game 3, while 24 was assessed to Rain or Shine. The Elasto Painters took 36 free throws, while the Beermen attempted 15.

Rain or Shine started to seal the game after back to back 3-balls by Cruz and Belga put them up 102-98 with 3:37 to go. A few possessions later, Belga scored on a wide-open layup to make it a 104-98 game.

A big 3-ball by Lassiter cut the Rain or Shine deficit to 107-104 with 1:30 to go, and after Lee missed a jumper, Fajardo scored in the post to make the score 107-106 with 54 seconds left.

Jeff Chan and Cruz then each missed 3-pointers, but after a time-out, Lassiter misfired on a floater with 6 seconds left that could have put his team ahead.

Cruz then got the rebound, and was fouled by a charging Lassiter who was looking to stop the clock. 

Cruz looked like he hyper-extended his knee and was clutching on to it after landing before eventually getting stretchered out of the playing court.

The game officials assessed Lassiter with a flagrant foul, and Chris Tiu proceeded to eventually seal the contest at the foul line with 4 free throws.

“We have Jericho suffering I hope not a serious injury, so we’re paying a big cost for this series, for the wins… but that’s really how it is. We’re willing to pay that cost and we will take up the challenge. We’ve been used to making the adjustments anyway,” said Guiao.

Game 4 is on Monday, January 11.


Rain or Shine (111): Lee 18, Belga 14, Chan 13, Norwood 13, Ponferada 12, Tiu 12, Ahanmisi 10, Quinahan 8, Cruz 6, Nimes 5, Trollano 0.

San Miguel (106): Fajardo 40, Lassiter 22, Santos 12, Tubid 11, Cabagnot 8, Lutz 6, Espinas 5, Reyes 2, Araña 0, Ross 0.

Quarter scores: 26-27, 58-50, 78-86, 111-106 – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI