Rain or Shine posted the second most lopsided win of any team this season as it crushed expansion team Blackwater, 123-85, to keep its playoff hopes alive in the PBA Governors’ Cup last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Paul Lee set the tone for the team’s lopsided victory by scoring all of his 13 points in the first quarter that saw the Elasto Painters take a 30-22 lead. From there, it was his teammates turn to rip the Elite into shreds to avoid tying the team’s worst start since Yeng Guiao took over as coach.
Import Wendell McKines had 15 points and 11 rebounds, Jervy Cruz also scored 15 while Jeff Chan added 12 markers as ROS forged a four-way tie for eighth place with defending champion Star, NLEX and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at 2-4.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been in a situation like this. We’ve been struggling,” said Guiao, who avoided tying his 1-5 for Rain or Shine during the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup.
“We’re just living day-to-day. A win like this gives our confidence a boost… we are not giving up on this conference. We’re trying to survive and avoid elimination. Our hope is that in the playoffs, we can get our bearings back.”
“It’s unusual and disappointing actually. We’ve been in the playoffs eight or nine conference (straight), now there’s a danger we might not make it this conference. This is an unfamiliar territory for us, but sometimes things like this happens to wake us up.”
Blackwater fell to a lowly 1-6 record by absorbing its worst defeat of the season, eclipsing the 29-point defeat to San Miguel (91-62) during the Philippine Cup.
Marcus Douthit led the Elite with 14 points in his final game before he heads to Singapore to represent the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games.
Douthit will be out for at least two weeks, and Blackwater official Silliman Sy said that the team is in the process of tapping a temporary replacement.
ROS ballooned its lead to 61-35 at halftime before padding the margin to 40 points, when Jericho Cruz hit two free throws to make it 113-73 with 2:37 left in the game.
The victory was three points shy of tying Alaska’s 43-point mauling of Meralco, 123-72, during the Philippine Cup.
Reminded that they had a chance of equaling or erasing the franchise record 51-point victory over Alaska (123-72), which incidentally happened exactly a year ago today, Guiao said it didn’t cross their mind.
“Hindi na namin ini-isip yun. When you are drowning, you just try to cling to it to give you some buoyancy. This win is big for our ego and our confidence,” said Guiao.
RAIN OR SHINE 123 – McKines 15, Cruz Jervy 15, Lee 13, Chan 12, Tang 11, Belga 10, Cruz Jericho 9, Teng 8, Almazan 8, Norwood 7, Ibanes 5, Quinahan 5, Tiu 3, Arana 2, Uyloan 0.
BLACKWATER 85 – Douthit 14, Reyes 13, Faundo 10, Celiz 10, Cervantes 8, Acuna 7, Heruela 6, Laure 6, Ballesteros 4, Salvacion 3, Timberlake 2, Golla 2, Erram 0, Bulawan 0, Gamalinda 0.
Quarters: 30-22; 61-35; 87-56; 123-85.