Games Tomorrow (Smart-Araneta Coliseum)
5:15 p.m. Powerade vs B-Meg
7:30 p.m. Ginebra vs Shopinas.com
Manila, Philippines – Even with rookie sensation Paul Lee not in his usual lethal form, Rain or Shine proved it can still win a game.
That’s what the Elasto Painters did when they edged the Alaska Aces in dominating fashion following a 120-84 victory Sunday night, which gave the Yeng Guiao-mentored squad the solo lead in the standings of the PBA Philippine Cup.
“It just proves a point that we’re not going to put the responsibility on Paul Lee’s shoulder. It must be a team responsibility,“ Guiao said. “He didn’t play his best game, but I think the strength of our team is in the balance that we have.“
Guiao was actually ejected with 1:11 left in the third period after incurring his second technical for complaining to a call by the referees. At that time, however, Rain or Shine was already in full control when he left the game.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Lee and Jeff Chan put the Painters up by 33 points, 109-76, with 3:38 to play in the game.
Since joining the PBA in 2007, the winning margin now stands a franchise-best for the Terry QueRaymund Yu owned team. They also dealt Alaska its worst defeat since the 1992 Third Conference against Shell (94-62).
With Lee scoring just five points, the lowest in his young PBA career, Rain or Shine relied on its other mainstays like the 6-foot-2 Chan, who finished with a team-high 20 points to maintain his consistency as one of the scorers for the Painters this conference.
Through five games, the lefty Chan is now the leading scorer for Rain or Shine with 16.2 points per game, followed by the 6-foot-1 Lee the second overall pick in the previous PBA Rookie Draft with an average of 14.8 points a game.
However, Rain or Shine isn’t just about Lee or Chan, as others also contributed in Rain or Shine’s four win in five games.
Gabe Norwood averaged 11.4 points, followed by off-season acquisition JR Quinahan with 10.2 points and Ronjay Buenafe with almost 10 points. Also helping the team in other aspects are defense-minded players like Beau Belga, Ryan Araña, Larry Rodriguez, Jireh Ibanes and Ronnie Matias.