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Chan, Cruz lead Rain or Shine, survive Ginebra scare

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In a game that displayed the importance of depth, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters pulled off a great 94-86 win at the expense of Barangay Ginebra Sunday evening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Rain or Shine led the first quarter, 21-18, in a see-saw quarter between them and Ginebra. A Jireh Ibanes three gave Rain or Shine a good start at 12-11. Jeff Chan made another three once play resumed, but Greg Slaughter responded to cut the deficit to 15-14. Slaughter then scored to give Ginebra the lead at 15-16.

Baskets from Ibanes and Chan returned the initiative to Rain or Shine. Jervy Cruz pulled one back for Ginebra but a JR Quinahan jumper finished the quarter for Rain or Shine.

Early in the second, Gabe Norwood shot from beyond the arc to give Rain or Shine a 26-18 edge over Ginebra. Afterwards, Chris Tiu extended Rain or Shine’s control of the game with a trey of his own, 31-20. Undeterred, Slaughter, rookie Scottie Thompson, and Mark Caguioa trimmed Rain or Shine’s advantage to 29-35. Quinahan immediately restored Rain or Shine’s lead to ten points courtesy of a layup.

With everything to do, Dave Marcelo made a basket between Caguioa’s to keep Ginebra close to Rain or Shine. Ginebra ended the first half the happier team as Aguilar’s two free throws tied the game 39-39 at halftime.

Jericho Cruz’s floater gave Rain or Shine a 44-41 edge over Ginebra near the start of the third quarter but LA Tenorio rallied a trey to level the scores at 46-46. It turned downhill after that for Ginebra as Rain or Shine capitalized on a technical foul for coach Tim Cone. A trey from Jericho Cruz capped off a 10-0 run to gift Rain or Shine 56-46 lead.

Slaughter’s two freebies sliced Rain or Shine’s lead to single digits but a Maverick Ahanmisi drive extended Rain or Shine’s dominance to 61-50. Norwood wrote the last sentence of the third quarter with a jumper which gave Rain or Shine a 68-56 leverage over Ginebra.

Chan made another three to give Rain or Shine a 71-56 edge over Ginebra from the get-go of the fourth quarter. Ginebra veteran Jayjay Helterbrand later shaved Rain or Shine’s run to 63-75, but Chan immediately scored afterwards to quell the Gin Kings. Ginebra finally cut Rain or Shine’s lead to 73-82 courtesy of an Aguilar slam. Sol Mercado scored to narrowed Rain or Shine’s lead further to just seven points, but a three point play by Jewel Ponferada reinstated the Elasto Painters’ advantage to 87-75.

Pumped up by the Araneta crowd, four straight points from Mercado trimmed Rain or Shine’s lead once again to 82-89. Nevertheless, a three point play from Chan restored Rain or Shine’s ten point lead and they successfully fended off Ginebra.

Jericho Cruz was thankful to have Coach Yeng Guiao as his mentor, saying, “I’m just thankful to be coached by Coach Yeng.” He then added, “this was a tough game. Both teams fought hard and we are happy to gain this win.”

Chan, who led his team in scoring with 19 markers, said that he wanted to be aggressive in this game. “Mas gusto ko lang tumira this game kasi last game kaunti lang tinira ko,” he said. “Nakakita lang ako ng mga butas at buti na lang pumasok. Pero hindi ko rin naman pinilit mga tira ko.”

Chan scored 19 points, while Jericho Cruz followed him with 16 for Rain or Shine. For Ginebra, it was their twin towers who led them as Aguilar made 22 markers and Slaughter provided 19.

As a team, both team’s shot at a high-mark with the Elasto Painters shooting 50% while the Gin Kings shot 45%. However, the depth of Rain or Shine was emphasized in the game as their bench provided 46 points of their 94-point effort. The Ginebra bench had 27 points.

The result gave Rain or Shine their third straight win and a 6-1 record, level with the San Miguel Beermen and Alaska Aces. On the other hand, it was Ginebra’s first loss in five games as they had won the previous three before today.

Rain or Shine will play the Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters on December 6, 2015 (Sunday; 5:15PM) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, while Ginebra shall face Blackwater Elite on December 5, 2015 (Saturday; 7:00PM) in Angeles City.

The Scores:
Rain or Shine (94) – Chan 19, Cruz 16, Ahanmisi 13, Belga 9, Norwood 8, Ponferada 7, Trollano 7, Ibanes 5, Quinahan 5, Tiu 3, Almazan 2, Matias 0, Nimes 0, Teng 0.

Ginebra (86) – Aguilar 22, Slaughter 19, Caguioa 11, Mercado 8, Thompson 7, Tenorio 6, Helterbrand 5, Cruz 4, Marcelo 4, Devance 0, Ellis 0, Mariano 0, Salva 0.

Quarterscores: 21-18, 39-39, 68-56, 94-86.

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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