2014 PBA Philippine Cup Finals Roundup: Lee’s game-winner lifts Rain or Shine to a 1-0 lead!

Even after struggling all game long, birthday boy Paul Lee remained confident. In the end, he delivered when it mattered most, catching a lob from Gabe Norwood and putting the ball in the basket with 0.6 seconds to go as Rain or Shine drew first blood in their titular series against the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers.

Coach Tim Cone played this one tight, using 10 players in his rotation (Yancy De Ocampo, however, played just 1 minute). In contrast, coach Yeng Guiao, true to form, used 14 guys on the floor, with nobody playing fewer than 7 minutes and more than 29. It was a great contest of different styles, with ROS’s shooting and speed countering SMC’s size and athleticism. In the end, despite struggling from the field, the backcourt tandem of Jeff Chan and Paul Lee came through in the clutch for the Painters. Chan hit his only two triples in a critical stretch in the fourth quarter that helped set up Lee’s game-winning heroics in the waning seconds. Prior to hitting those big treys, Chan had mostly misfired throughout, scoring just 2 points. He ended up with 8 markers and 4 assists. Lee, meanwhile, fared even worse, shooting 1/7 from the floor prior to hitting the alley-oop lay-up (care of a Gabe Norwood inbound lob) that broke an 80-all deadlock. He finished with 6 points, 3 boards, 2 assists, and 2 steals.


Paul Lee soars for the game-winning bucket against SMC.


Two endgame lapses did the Mixers in here — Mark Barroca’s decision to switch on a flare screen that led to Lee being wide open for the alley-oop and the Mixers’ calling a timeout after that basket. That timeout led to a technical foul because, well, the Mixers didn’t have any timeouts left to call at that point. Together, those two mistakes proved costly for San Mig, as they now find themselves in a 0-1 hole. To compound things, the Mixers didn’t shoot nearly as well as they in their huge Game 7 win over Ginebra the other day. Joe Devance had the Mixers’ lone three-pointer of the night. As a team, they went 1/11. Also, coach Cone’s wards shot just 50% from the line, with Marc Pingris, PJ Simon, Alex Mallari, and Rafi Reavis all contributing bricks. 

Spread the Wealth: As always, Rain or Shine didn’t lean on just one or two players for this triumph. As expected, the Painters enjoyed contributions from all fronts, with 12 of the 14 guys fielded in scoring at least 2 points. The highest scorers were inside operators Beau Belga and Jervy Cruz, who scored 15 markers each. Belga added 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block, while Cruz grabbed 7 rebounds. Seven other guys scored 5 points or more for coach Yeng, who has become the poster-boy for a “no star player” mindset. So far, it has worked for him and the Painters, who are just three wins away from claiming the title that eluded them last season.


Game Recap:


RAIN OR SHINE over SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE, 83-80

Birthday boy Paul Lee hit an alley-oop layup with nine-tenths of a second remaining to lift the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to an 83-80 victory over the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers in Game One of the PLDT Home DSL Philippine Cup finals on Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

“We got lucky in the end. We set up the play for Jeff (Chan), but it was Paul who got open. Good recognition by Gabe (Norwood),” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

“It could’ve gone either way.”

The Mixers were coming off a grueling seven-game Manila Clasico semifinals series against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel that only ended last Wednesday. San Mig Coffee had just one day to prepare, in contrast to Rain or Shine, which had a weeklong break after dispatching Petron in five games in their own semifinals series.

The Elasto Painters threatened to run away with the game early, but the Mixers kept within striking distance. While Rain or Shine controlled most of the game, San Mig Coffee was never far behind.

“They do not look like they’re tired. Coach Tim’s just doing a great job preserving his players,” said Guiao. “The bench of San Mig is becoming a really tough challenge for us.”

Rain or Shine still led by two points, 69-67, on two free throws by Gabe Norwood early in the fourth period. But the Mixers, sparked by second-string guards Alex Mallari and Justin Melton, rattled off a 9-1 blast to take a 76-70 advantage.

The Elasto Painters quickly struck back with an 8-0 run punctuated by back-to-back three-pointers by Jeff Chan to take back the lead, 78-76.

San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone responded by inserting his starters back in. Rising to the occasion, James Yap nailed two straight jumpers from the same spot to push the Mixers ahead, 80-78, with 34.7 seconds left.

Chan missed a three-point attempt in the ensuing play, but Jervy Cruz recovered the loose ball and made a hook shot over Marc Pingris to tie the game anew, 80-all, with 22.5 seconds remaining.

Mark Barroca was foiled in a drive in the Mixers’ final possession, allowing Rain or Shine to recover the ball with 1.6 seconds remaining. Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao drew up a play that opened up Lee, who turned 25, for the layup off a pass by Gabe Norwood.

The Mixers called an extra timeout, resulting in a technical foul and a free throw for Lee. San Mig Coffee’s desperation attempt was not close, allowing Rain or Shine to take the series opener.

Guiao downplayed the importance of the first win.

“Game One is really a feeling out game,” he said, before noting that he expects Rain or Shine’s depth to be a factor as the series goes along.

“The longer this series takes, the more advantage we have.”

ROS 83 – Belga 15, Cruz 15, Chan 8, Norwood 8, Rodriguez 7, Arana 6, Lee 6, Tang 5, Teng 5, Almazan 4, Quinahan 2, Nuyles 2, Tiu 0, Ibanes 0.
SMC 80 – Devance 17, Pingris 13, Simon 13, Yap 12, Barroca 9, Melton 6, Mallari 4, Reavis 4, Sangalang 2, De Ocampo 0.
QS: 20-15, 37-37, 60-59, 83-80


Marc Pingris rises for the midrange J.
The Elasto-Painters celebrate their big Game 1 win.

Recap Source: Rey Joble/InterAKTV

Image Sources: Unless otherwise specified, images are by Nuki Sabio/PBA (cover image & Rain or Shine image) and KC Cruz/GMANews (Marc Pingris image).


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3 Comment
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SMC had no timeouts bcoz Cone called an unnecessary 2nd timeout during their previous possession

Balas
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Tim Cone's meticulousness and Yeng Guiao's unpredictability made this game that way

Balas