PBA: Rain or Shine pours down on B-MEG, takes first Finals game
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, in their first appearance as a franchise in the Finals, played tough, physical ball, taking the B-MEG Llamados out of their element, on the way to a 91-80 win, Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, in the first game of the 2012 PBA Governors' Cup Finals.
"I'm really proud of the way the boys handled the pressure of the Finals," said Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao. "The way we played our defense in the second half, when we were able to settle down and soaked up the atmosphere, they were ok from then on.
"Malaking bagay ito sa kumpyansa namin going to the next game."
But while the Elasto Painters were handling the pressure with poise, the opposite seemed to be true for the Llamados, who won the Commissioner's Cup just a few months ago.
Llamados import Marqus Blakely was whistled for his fifth foul with 3:45 remaining in the third period, removing him from the equation in the endgame, while an angry B-MEG head coach Tim Cone displayed his frustration on the lack of a foul call on a James Yap move by throwing a plastic monobloc chair onto the court, resulting in his ejection at the 7:23 mark of the fourth period.
In the first, PJ Simon opened up the scoring by following up his own miss with a foul, 3-0. The Llamados were able to build an early five point lead, 9-4, after consecutive hits by James Yap and Simon, but the Rain or Shine import Jamelle Cornley would respond with back-to-back hits, while a Beau Belga conversion tied up the game at 10-all.
The Elasto Painters got to taste the lead for the first time after a Paul Lee three, 13-12. Three straight points by Yap seemed to have sealed the first quarter for B-MEG, but the rookie Lee hit another triple to end the first with RoS ahead, 18-16.
Neither team got to build a double digit advantage in the second period, but five straight points by Ronjay Buenafe and Jireh Ibanez gave Rain or Shine a five-point lead at the beginning of the quarter, 23-18.
It didn't last long however, as a couple of Mark Barroca three-pointers gave B-MEG the lead yet again, 26-24. At the 4:16 mark, Yancy De Ocampo figured into a shoving match with Jamelle Cornley, with Cornley shoving De Ocampo several full steps before referees got involved and separated the two.
The pair were issued technical fouls, before a Marc Pingris and one on Gabe Norwood gave the Llamados a 33-29 advantage. B-MEG couldn't draw away though, as Cornley and Norwood countered with their own conversions, before a Jonas Villanueva buzzer-beating three handed the Llamados the lead at the half, 39-35.
The Elasto Painters went on a 9-2 run to open the third period, which meant a five-point lead for them, 51-46. A Buenafe floater made it eight, 54-46, before a 4-0 run punctuated by a Marqus Blakely slam forced coach Guiaoo to call a timeout, 54-50.
Rain or Shine would recover though, as a pair of threes from Buenafe and Ibanez gave them an eight point lead anew, 64-56. A James Yap lay-up and a Jerwin Gaco split brought the lead down to five, 64-59, before Cornley hit a teardrop with 0.3 seconds remaining to give RoS a bit more breathing room to end the period, 59-55.
In the fourth, Beau Belga had back-to-back hits made it an eight-point game, 70-62. Gaco would counter with a tough left-handed layup at the other end, but Gabe Norwood would take it strong to the hole for a slam to re-establish their eight-point margin, 72-64.
Jeff Chan hit a baseline jumper right after, followed by an open three from Norwood that made it a might 15-point buffer for the Finals newcomers, 80-65, with 5:19 remaining. It grew as much as 18 a play later after yet another Norwood triple, 83-65.
B-MEG tried to string together one final run, with six straight points from Simon and Pingris bringing the lead down to 10, 85-75, but an outlet pass to Cornley for a slam with 1:27 sealed the deal for the Elasto Painters, who have yet to lose to B-MEG in this conference.
Import Jamelle Cornley was the best player of the game with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists with an 11-of-14 shooting clip.
"I want to give credit to our import who just stayed there. He was able to get us out of trouble when we needed him the most," added Guiao.
Game two of the series will be held on Wednesday, also at the Big Dome. - AMD, GMA News
Rain or Shine 91 - Cornley 25, Lee 14, Norwood 10, Buenafe 10, Belga 8, Ibanes 8, Chan 7, Arana 4, Quinahan 4, Cruz 1.
B-MEG 80 - Yap 19, Blakely 12, Pingris 12, Simon 9, Gaco 8, Barroca 6, Villanueva 5, Reavis 4, Urbiztondo 3, De Ocampo 2.
Quarter scoring: 18-16, 35-39, 66-59, 91-80 - AMD, GMA News