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PBA: Painters finish off Boosters

Game Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3:30 p.m. – Ginebra vs San Mig

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters are painting the town red – with or without coach Yeng Guiao.

Stepping into the void left by Guiao’s suspension, assistant coach Caloy Garcia steered the Elasto Painters past Petron Blaze in Game 5 last night, 97-88, and into the Finals of the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

It will be the third championship appearance in the last five conferences for the E-Painters who went all the way in the 2012 Governors’ Cup.

They will face the winner of the best-of-seven semifinal series between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and San Mig Super Coffee which is tied at 2-2 and will go through a Game 5 today.

Garcia, who coached Rain or Shine before Guiao came aboard in 2011, deflected all credit to Guiao, who was serving a one-game suspension and was at his home in Clark, Pampanga where he followed the action on TV and called in instructions, especially at halftime.

“The system is the system. It’s all coach Yeng,” said Garcia, who bared Guiao had urged the E-Painters to be more aggressive defensively in the second half. “He told us our flaws and said we were giving up too many layups.”

Garcia won two of Rain or Shine’s four victories in the semis as he took over after Guiao was ejected in Game 3 and again in Game 4, which the E-Painters won to go up, 4-1.

The E-Painters locked down as ordered and outscored the Boosters, 27-17, in the third quarter from where they launched a decisive attack that saw Petron match its worst best-of-7 performance as a franchise.

A 10-0 run in the fourth by Rain or Shine took all the fight out of Petron as it fell behind, 89-80 and never recovered.

Two nine-point spurts in the first half helped the Boosters take a 52-45 halftime lead, a margin that was 12 at one point, 50-38, before the E-Painters ended the second quarter with a 7-2 windup highlighted by a 3-pointer from Jeff Chan.

A 9-0 surge, sparked by a Ronald Tubid three-pointer, concluded the first 12 minutes and allowed Petron to break away from a 22-all deadlock, 31-22.

Then, after the E-Painters rallied to within 41-35 halfway through the second period, Petron responded with a 9-3 salvo, with Marcio Lassiter scoring five straight points to give the Boosters the 12-point spread.

Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and San Mig Super Coffee break their impasse today as they seek a pivotal victory in Game 5 of their series.