by Waylon Galvez
Game Tomorrow (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
8 p.m. – Ginebra vs San Mig Coffee
Manila, Philippines – Rain or Shine is two wins away from painting the town red in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
The Elasto Painters rolled to their 10th straight victory this conference, downing Petron Blaze, 103-94, and taking a 2-0 lead in their best-of-7 semifinal series at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Game 3 is Saturday, 3:30 p.m., at the MOA Arena.
“We just carved up a hard win tonight,” said ROS coach Yeng Guiao. “For a while I thought it was a lost game but the guys did not give up. It’s a testament to the guys’ desire to win and to their mental toughness.”
Back-to-back three-point shots brought down Petron’s remaining defensive wall which started crumbling right after the Boosters erected a 13-point lead early in the third quarter.
The Boosters, who lost the opener virtually by the same score, 103-95, were still ahead, 89-80, with 6:58 left in the fourth period before Rain or Shine went go for broke.
A 15-2 run highlighted first by a triple from Gabe Norwood, which made it 90-87, and another by rookie Raymond Almazan sent the Boosters reeling. Beau Belga’s basket gave the E-Painters their first taste of the lead, 92-91, from 6-4 early in the game.
“Raymond played like a veteran,” said Guiao, who pumped both fists after the reedy former Letran Knight scored inside to make it 100-94 with 28 seconds to go. “He looked like he was 250 pounds.”
June Mar Fajardo led Petron with 20 points but succumbed to Rain or Shine’s physicality and was plagued by foul trouble and a hot temper all game long.
Meanwhile, San Mig Super Coffee guns for a 2-0 lead in its series with Barangay Ginebra tomorrow at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Game time is at 8 p.m., with San Mig looking to put Ginebra in a deeper hole than the one the Kings dug up for themselves in an 85-83 loss last Tuesday where Mark Barroca’s jumper with 11 seconds remaining lifted the Mixers to victory.
Ginebra’s decision to stick with Mac Baracael as the inbounder against San Mig’s pressure defense blew up in the Kings’ faces. – With report from Waylon Galvez