Sports: Rain or Shine conquers Dumaguete
Last Saturday over at the Lamberto L Macias Sports and Cultural Centre in downtown Dumaguete City, league-leading Rain or Shine bamboozled a hapless Petron side by 21 big points to earn an outright semis seat in the Governor’s Cup wars of the Philippine Basketball Association.
While seated at a second-row seat worth P800, your Sideline Spectator was approached by an AKTV staff for a halftime interview with three other ardent PBA followers by ex-pro Jolly Escobar and Magoo Marjon. That was a nice chat live on air in front of millions of national television viewers, huh!
Back to the game. Rain or Shine was toting a 6-1 win-loss record prior to the match with Petron while the Blaze Boosters were 4-3 following their 92-80 triumph over sister team B-Meg last June 17. ROS was likewise fresh from an 81-77 victory over Meralco two days earlier (June 15).
The game saw rookie Paul Lee of the Elasto Painters and veteran Danny Ildefonso of the Blaze Boosters in street clothes with various injuries giving Petron some advantage due to the absence of the 2011 No. 2 draft pick in Lee, the so-called ‘Angas ng Tondo’.
Petron raced to an early lead right in the opening period before Rain or Shine recovered and even took the quarter, 27-25. In the second canto, Jay Washington and Arwind Santos propelled the Blaze Boosters to a precarious 47-44 advantage to end the first 24 minutes of play in this PBA road encounter sponsored by Phoenix Fuels.
In the third, it was Rain or Shine’s time to shine (pun intended) as players like Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood (I was wearing his dark blue jersey during the game), skipper Jireh Ibanes and import Jamelle Cornley rained shots after shots and connived for mentor Yeng Guiao’s charges for ROS’ 73-63 third-quarter lead going into the payoff period.
In what was expected to be a close game between the two teams, the Elasto Painters went on a shooting rampage in the last quarter and went on to outscore Petron, 30-19, with big man Jervy Cruz joining the scoring parade for the Elasto Painters’ seventh win in eight outings.
Cornley led all scorers with 22 markers while Norwood and Chan each had 16 points. The only remaining ROS player (formerly Welcoat), Ibanes, scored 15 points while Cruz added 14 for the Elasto Painters. Ronnie Mtias (5 points), Beau Belga (4), TY Tang (4), Ronjay Buenafe (3), JR Quinahan (2) and Ryan Arana (2) also saw action in Dumaguete City.
For the Blaze Boosters, Washington had 19 points while Santos scored 18 as import Eddie Basden was held to a conference-low nine markers. Other Petron players who saw action for Coach Ato Agustin were Chris Lutz (10 points), Joseph Yeo (8), Alex Cabagnot (7), Dondon Hontiveros (6), Chico Lanete (3), Siverino Baclao (2), Dorain Pena (0), Denok Miranda (0) and Rob Reyes (0).
Chan and Baclao, although playing for different teams, are two of a number of Negrenses currently playing in the PBA alongside Meralco’s Reynel Hugnatan and Mark Yee as well as B-Meg’s James Yap. There were instances that both players were guarding each other during game albeit Chan was the star of the night with his team winning.
The former University of St La Salle-Bacolod varsity had 16 markers on 3-of-6 shooting from downtown while making all three of his freethrows on top of six rebounds and an assist in 34 minutes for ROS while Baclao (West Negros College) saw action for just 12 minutes and scored a twinner while hauling down seven caroms and blocking one shot in a losing effort.
Well, it was one helluva experience in Dumaguete City just to see a PBA road game. Hopefully, Victorias City here in Negros Occidental will again sponsor an out-of-town game come next season (2012-13).....*
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