The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters waxed hot from downtown to dispatch Alaska Aces, 112-108, and seize a commanding 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals game 3 series Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
With the win, the Elasto Painters can close out the series with a sweep in Game Four on Friday where they can clinch their second title in franchise history.
Rain or Shine buried 15 out of 30 triples, six of which came in a blistering run in the second quarter that built the huge lead for the Elasto Painters.
JR Quinahan finished with 18 points, 13 in the second quarter alone. Jericho Cruz contributed 17 markers, import Pierre Henderson-Niles had his most productive game in the finals with 11 points and 13 rebounds, and Paul Lee added 10 points.
Rob Dozier scored 23 points and eight boards, while Calvin Abueva made 20 points and the same number of rebounds as Alaska now stares at a 3-0 hole and on the verge of losing their fourth finals trip in the last five conferences.
After a tight contest, Rain or Shine suddenly broke the game wide open in the second quarter. Following a 37-all deadlock, triples poured for the Elasto Painters.
Quinahan, who scored 13 in the second quarter alone, waxed hot from downtown with two treys, while Cruz also made his own to fuel a 12-2 run that gave Rain or Shine the game’s first double-digit spread, 49-39.
Chris Tiu and Lee joined the fray to widen the Elasto Painters’ gap, 57-42, with 2:51 left in the first half.
Rain or Shine came away with a 62-47 cushion at the break after a 25-10 spurt in the last six minutes of the second frame.
Cruz scores five straight points to open the third quarter, and a Jeff Chan triple expanded Rain or Shine’s lead to 25, 92-77.
The Aces struggled to trim the deficit all game-long. But things got interesting in the final seconds when Alaska was able to slowly come within single digits–as close as four points–as their pressure defense finally gave Rain or Shine some troubles.
But time wasn’t just enough for Alaska to overcome Rain or Shine’s lead.
RAIN OR SHINE 112 – Quinahan 18, Cruz 17, Henderson-Niles 11, Lee 10, Norwood 9, Belga 8, Tiu 8, Ahanmisi 7, Almazan 7, Chan 6, Ibanes 6, Ponferada 5, Nimes 0.
ALASKA 108 – Dozier 23, Abueva 20, Banchero 15, Jazul 14, Baguio 9, Hontiveros 9, Thoss 7, Exciminiano 5, Baclao 4, Dela Rosa 2.
Quarters: 28-28, 62-47, 95-72, 112-108