POWERADE IN COME-FROM-BEHIND WIN DEDICATED TO RESIGNED GOVERNOR
Powerade, the Philippine Cup’s Cinderalla team, is not yet done pulling off surprises.
Though in a difficult situation, the Tigers got off to a triumphant start in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, fighting back from a 17-point deficit and nipping the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 122-120, Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Tigers put on display the very character they built in their breakthrough showing in the recent all-Filipino tourney, squeezing out a stirring win they dedicated to former boss JB Baylon. “The team is really facing difficult times. There’s the resignation of Boss JB, the trade talks and the impending franchise sale. It’s good that our import gave us hope then there’s also Gary (David),” said Powerade coach Bo Perasol. Baylon resigned from his post at Coca-Cola Friday morning, effectively also giving up his function as Powerade’s representative to the PBA board of governors as vice-chairman.
Dwayne Jones imposed his 6-foot-11 frame to collect 34 points and 21 rebounds while David sizzled with a 7-of-12 three-point shooting and a total of 32 points as the Tigers pulled another one against the Elasto Painters.
Jvee Casio and Marcio Lassiter also made impact with the former creating key plays and the latter coming through with big defensive stops in the crunch as the Elasto Painters topped the same team they beat in seven games in the semifinal round in the Philippine Cup.
Casio scored all of his 14 points in the second half and completed a double-double game with a career-high 13 assists, including the dish that let David bang away the deciding three-pointer with 13.7 seconds left to play.
Rain or Shine had a chance to send the game into overtime but Jeff Chan misfired his own three-point attempt in the ensuing play.
It was a heart-rending victory for the Elasto Painters who blew away a 17-point spread at 76-59. They were still in control at 117-112 before Casio struck with a triple and a breakaway layup then Sean Anthony scored on a tough shot off RoS import Duke Crews in a decisive blitzkrieg, sending Powerade ahead at 119-117 with time down to 46 seconds. Crews, who logged 23 points and 12 rebounds, scored off Jones to tie the count at 119 nine seconds later.
Then came David’s dagger three-pointer, capping their win and yet another 30-point showing by the cold-blooded gunman from Dinalupihan, Bataan. The RoS starters got the team to a good start, giving the Elasto Painters a 33-24 lead in the opening quarter. The reserves later sustained the effort of Crews and company as Rain or Shine took the half at 59-50. The Elasto Painters banked on their balanced offense to offset the 18-point productions of Jones and David in the first 24 minutes of play.
David spiked his first-half performance with a perfect 4-of-4 three-point clip.
Curiously, only three other Powerade players in Ricky Calimag, Lassiter and Francis Allera scored for the Tigers in the first half.
Rain or Shine stretched its lead to 17 early in the second half but Powerade rallied to within six twice before the third quarter came to a close. (SB)
POWERADE 122 - Jones 34, David 32, Casio 14, Lassiter 13, Calimag 11, Anthony 9, Vanlandingham 6, Allera 3, Martinez 0, Lingganay 0, Kramer 0, Cruz 0, Adducul 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 120 - Crews 23, Norwood 16, Chan 13, Arana 13, Quinahan 12, Cruz 10, Belga 9, Lee 8, Buenafe 7, Ibanes 7, Matias 2.
Quarterscores: 24-33, 50-59, 83-94, 122-120