Rain or Shine stays alive

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Monday, February 24, 2014


MANILA — Jeff Chan fired 23 points in the second half to power Rain or Shine to an 81-74 win over San Mig Coffee and narrow their lead in the PBA Philippine Cup finals series, 3-2, at the Araneta Coliseum last night.

The 6’2” forward Chan, a 17th overall pick by Red Bull in 2008, suddenly waxed hot in the final frame, scoring 15 points to give the Elasto Painters a lease on time. They will try to level the series on Wednesday in Game 6 at the Big Dome.

Just believe

“We just grinded out a win and we’re still certainly behind in this series. But one thing we can promise the fans is we will fight it out to the end and we’re still looking to make the championship. One thing I told the boys, we cannot lose that sense of destiny even if we are behind. It’s not over yet, we have to believe in ourselves and stay positive. A win like this can turn around the competition,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.

San Mig took a 10-point lead early in the opening quarter but after taking a 43-35 advantage at the half, the Coffee Mixers got cold, allowing Rain or Shine to seize the lead, 69-60, still 7:21 remaining.

“My guys really wanted to win. We got shots going, especially in the fourth quarter.

We’ll try to delay or postpone the celebration of San Mig; if we can delay it enough it can be our celebration. The big advantage is still on their side.

But this win will take a lot of encouragement and hope. We could have won Games 3 and 4. Di lang talaga namin mapagsabay yung pagputok ni Jeff Chan at ni Paul Lee,” said Guiao. “Chris Tiu stepped up, Beau Belga stepped up on the defensive end. The way the series is going they’re not getting tired. We have to win it on merit.”

The Elasto Painters won the opening game in the series, 83-80, but lost in the second, 80-70 as well as the third, 77-76, last Wednesday. San Mig stretched the gap 3-1 following a 93-90 triumph in Game 4 on Friday.

Chan scored a game-high 24 points, Belga settled with 10, while Marc Pingris and James Yap finished with 18 points for San Mig, whose search for an 11th title got delayed.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 24, 2014.

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