MANILA: Grace B. Castillo
Saturday 28 July 2012
Last Update 28 July 2012 8:12 am
No Paul Lee? That’s not a problem for Rain or Shine.
The Elasto Painters chopped down talented B-Meg in Game 3 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals using the outside shot as a battering ram, with a 93-84 victory giving them a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series at the Araneta Coliseum.
With the super rookie Lee watching in civvies from the bench because of a dislocated shoulder, the Painters played arguably their best game of the season to regain the upper hand in the series and the psychological edge that comes with it.
“We played as hard as we could tonight,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao told reporters.
“Without Paul (Lee), we thought that the biggest complement we could do was play for him.”
Lee dislocated his left shoulder in the waning minutes of Game 2 and came to the venue on a sling. He is feared to be out for the rest of the series, unless, Guiao said, it comes down to a Game 7.
“He helped us get here,” Guiao added before resuming his tirade with the entire B-Meg organization. “They (his players) play with a lot of toughness that comes from inside, and not just from a t-shirt.”
Jamelle Cornley scored 26 points and plucked down 15 rebounds, and Jeff Chan dropped all 18 of his points in the second half, presiding upon a sizzling shooting display in the third quarter where the Painters broke away.
From a 40-38 count at the half, Chan and Ryan Arana, Rain or Shine’s two hardnosed lefties, hit two triples each and Ronjay Buenafe had one as the Painters missed just one shot from there.
Rain or Shine also made a total of 8-of-16 attempts from the perimeter in the period as the Painters took a 70-52 lead into the fourth.
They would later bloat that to 75-54 early in the payoff frame after Chan hit the last of his three triples and Cone totally yielded the game from there as he completed recalling his starters to the bench.
Cone even fielded in rookie Val Acuna with still four minutes left and the Llamados down by just 11.
Acuna took three triple attempts with only one of them managing to hit the rim.
When asked of that move, Cone said that he was preserving his starters for the next game and admitted total disregard to the fans who paid good money to watch the game.
“My job is not to make the crowd happy (by keeping James Yap and the other stars on the bench in the third),” Cone said. “I love the fans but I can’t worry about them. Maybe we can make them happy on Sunday (in Game 4).”
James Yap played just 22 minutes and finished with just seven points. In a 85-80 Game 2 win, Yap scored 24 points and was the brightest local light for the Llamados.
Import Marcus Blakely was used for just 35 minutes and finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Peter June Simon, another vital offensive cog for Cone, had just four points in 24 minutes.
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