CEBUANO JR Quiñahan connected a triple in the dying seconds to lift Rain or Shine past Meralco Bolts, 89-86, on Wednesday and they grabbed the solo second spot in the 39th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup elimination round at the Araneta Coliseum.
The 6’6” center Quiñahan, a former University of the Visayas Green Lancer, received the inbound pass from Gabe Norwood with only 0.7 seconds remaining and immediately fired the winning basket, despite the outreached arms of Gary David, to secure the Elasto Painters' 10th win in 13 matches. He had nothing to lose when he fired the marginal shot because the score was tied at 86-all.
Even with the victory, which moved them just half a game behind solo leader Ginebra Kings (10-2), the Elasto Painters were not yet assured of getting the second twice-to-beat edge because Petron Blaze can still tie the standing with similar slate.
The Blaze Boosters with a 9-3 win-loss slate were still playing sister team San Mig Coffee as of presstime last night.
Rain or Shine will play Air 21 in its last game in the elimination round on Saturday, while Petron will have Meralco as its last assignment also on the same day.
Coach Yeng Guiao of Rain or Shine was ecstatic over the pulsating win—their second over the Meralco Bolts with a 94-89 victory in their first meeting on Nov. 22.
“Alam ko kasi it's always tough playing Meralco. The last time we played them it boiled down to the close end game. We were riding on a streak of good luck. Mike Cortez was not able to play, he’s a big part of Meralco team. I just felt that one great shot deserved another, one chamba after another. We are on a six-game winning streak, somehow there's some pressure, knowing we are on a streak. We are the hottest team. We just want to keep winning so we can salvage the twice-to-beat advantage,” said Guiao.
The 29-year-old Quiñahan, a seventh overall pick by Alaska in 2007, finished with only five points and two block shots. He was one-of-four in the three-point zone. Jeff Chan topscored for the Elasto Painters with 16 points, Paul Lee settled with 14 and 10 from Gabe Norwood.
Gary David paced Meralco with 25 points, John Wilson added 12, while Reynel Hugnatan and Jared Dillinger scored 11 pointes apiece.