Manila, Philippines – Rain or Shine erupted for 41 second quarter points then endured some anxious moments in the second half on its way to a 119-99 win over Kia yesterday to clinch the top seed and the twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
In a total team effort, the Elasto Painters got 28 points and 12 rebounds from import Wayne Chism while center Raymond Almazan and guard Paul Lee provided help off the bench with 16 and 14 points, respectively, to end their elimination round assignment at 8-3.
ROS finished tied with defending champion Purefoods Star and Talk ‘N Text, which posted a 101-93 victory over Alaska in a tension-filled second game to obtain the second spot and the last twice-to-beat bonus.
Emotions ran high after the game when TNT import Ivan Johnson, who fired 47 points highlighted by nine triples, had a verbal tussle with the usually calm Alaska Coach Alex Compton, assistant Jeffrey Cariaso and Aces star Calvin Abueva at the Big Dome hallway.
Johnson and Abueva had a series of on-court exchanges before tensions boiled near the dressing room.
With the wins of ROS and TNT, Purefoods dropped to third spot and is forced to play a best-of-three series against the No. 6 team in the quarters.
Alaska and Kia fell to 4-6, tying Globalport and Barako Bull. They need to beat their remaining opponents to keep their playoff hopes alive.
As for the Painters, they will spend the next few days scouting potential opponents.
“We’re looking ahead to just watching the next few games, to see who’ll be matched up against,” said ROS mentor Yeng Guiao. “No. 1 or No. 2 is good, the important thing is gaining twice-to-beat advantage.”
“By virtue of quotient, it’s not really like unquestionable accomplishment. We are still tied with some other teams, but we’ll take that, we’ll follow the rules, we’ll take motivation from that.”
“It will give us encouragement going to our (playoffs) preparations. Everything is still up in the air… it takes one win to get us to the semifinals. Maybe after that we’ll see what happens,” Guiao added.
It will only be the second time that ROS got the top seeding in the playoffs. The first time came in the 2012 Governors’ Cup when the Elasto Painters won their first and still only PBA championship.
Chris Tiu and Ryan Arana each scored 13 points, and Gabe Norwood added 10 markers for the Elasto Painters to underscore the team’s depth.
Chism had 12 points, Tiu scored eight while Norwood and Almazan hit seven markers apiece in the big second quarter that saw Rain or Shine turn a 30-26 lead into huge 71-46 advantage at the half.
ROS shot 15-of-24 (63%) from the field in the second quarter, including 7-of-12 from three-point area with Chism a perfect 4-of-4, while its defense held Kia to only 9-of-24 (38%).
Kia came charging back with its own run in the third as it outscored Rain or Shine, 34-21, to trim the deficit to 92-80 entering the final frame. The closest the Carnival got was eight points, 96-88, on a jumper by Reil Cervantes with 8:36 to play. Scores:
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.
TALK N’ TEXT 101 – Johnson 47, De Ocampo 20, Castro 10, Washington 8, Fonacier 7, Rosser 7, Alas 2, Aban 0.
ALASKA 93 – James 23, Abueva 16, Hontiveros 11, Baguio 10, Casio 10, Jazul 9, Manuel 6, Exciminiano 4, Banchero 2, Thoss 2, Menk 0.
Quarters: 27-25; 48-31; 74-56; 101-93.