Rain or Shine used a huge third quarter surge to turn the tides of the game and take their Game 2 encounter against the Meralco Bolts Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. After being down by as much as 14, the Elasto Painters fired a total of 19 three-pointers (50% 3FG) to drop the Bolts, 92-82, for a two to none best-of-five series lead.
Early start, slow finish
Starting through two quick rainbow conversions, Rain or Shine slowed down after taking an early 11-6 lead with only over three minutes past tip off. From then on, Meralco held the Elasto Painters to just two markers until Jireh Ibañes’ last second three-point conversion to cut the Bolts’ lead 27-16 at the end of the opening canto.
Bolts’ lead trimmed
Converting on six triples in the second period, Rain or Shine managed to finish the half with just a three-point deficit after being down by as much as 14. They hit a high clip from beyond the arc with a 9-of-20 conversion compared to Meralco’s 2-of-9 three point shooting. Meralco kept their lead by forcing 12 turnovers from Rain or Shine while turning their possessions over just three times all throughout the half.
Paul Lee was the Elasto Painters’ key in the second quarter hitting a perfect 4-of-4 clip for 10 markers in just a single period.
Down by three to enter the second half, Rain or Shine rode on eight triples to go up by as much as 17 points in the third period. Jonathan Uyloan who didn’t see a single minute in the opening half, made three conversions from the rainbow country. Uyloan fired up the whole squad as almost any Elasto Painter gunner, in any manner, made three points shots of their own.
Late rally uncompleted
Meralco trimmed the lead to as much as seven with less than two minutes remaining in the final period via a Gary David triple. However, an unconverted opportunity in their offensive set led to another three-pointer by Wayne Chism that proved to be the final say of the Bolts.
Paul Lee led the way for the Elasto Painters with 23 markers on a 5-of-7 shooting from deep to go along with three assists.
“Kailangan ayusin naming kasi sobrang daming turnovers,” said Lee while also citing some endgame collapse in the series opener.
Looking to barge to the finals once more, Rain or Shine just need to win one more game to seal the series. All trivial percentages are very much on the Elasto Painters’ side as 30 of 31 teams who grabbed a 2-0 lead went on to win the series. However, the Bolts will have an opportunity to extend the series on Tuesday, 7PM, at the same venue for Game 3 of their semifinal encounter.
Rain or Shine 92 – Lee 23, Jericho Cruz 15, Chism 11, Tiu 10, Uyloan 9, Belga 7, Quiñahan 6, Norwood 5, Ibañes 3, Tang 3, Jervy Cruz 0, Teng 0, Araña 0, Almazan 0
Meralco 82 – Davis 25, David 17, Hugnatan 12, Wilson 7, Cortez 6, Caram 5, Hodge 2, Ferriols 2, Sena 2, Ildefonso 2, Macapagal 0
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