|AKTV file photo/Paolo Papa|
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao had no explanation for how his team pulled off a dramatic come-from-behind victory against the San Mig Coffee Mixers.
“Don’t ask me how we won it. We played ugly basketball, but we still won the game,” Guiao said in the post-game interview.
The Elasto Painters fought back from 18 points down in the third period and came up with one big shot after another in the clutch as they completed an exciting 80-79 comeback win over the Mixers Wednesday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Jeff Chan lost in his individual battle with counterpart James Yap, but came through with the baskets that mattered most, including a pair of four-point plays, the second of which enabled his team to tie count at 77-all with more than two minutes remaining.
Chan finished with 22 points while Yap, who was ejected at the 2:34 mark of the fourth quarter, scored a game-high 28 points for the Mixers.
The San Mig Coffee superstar played his best game of the season, but was thrown out for hitting Jireh Ibanes on the face while the latter was going for a basket in transition. Ibanes missed his free throws, but Chan netted a four-point play in the ensuing possession to tie the game.
As if that wasn’t enough, Beau Belga followed it up with a dagger triple that broke the deadlock – the last of the game – and give the Elasto Painters an 80-77 lead with 1:50 left in the game.
Without their normal go-to-guy, San Mig Coffee got a little bit disorganized.
The Mixers had their chances, though, as PJ Simon drilled in a jumper to shove his team within striking distance.
JR Quinahan then muffed two free throws in the last five seconds of the game. The Mixers rushed to the other end, but Jonas Villanueva missed a potential game-winning jumper as time expired, allowing the Elasto Painters to escape with the win.
“We will first enjoy this win, watch the tape and see how we won this game. This win is beyond analysis and assessment, but this will rank as one of my weirdest wins ever. Maybe there’s somebody out there. Maybe it’s coach Roehl (Nadurata) who guided us in this victory,” added Guiao.
RAIN OR SHINE 80 – Chan 22, Cruz 10, Norwood 9, Quinahan 9, Belga 7, Rodriguez 7, Tang 5, Arana 5, Jaime 4, Ibanes 2, Matias 0.
SAN MIG COFFEE 79 – Yap 28, Simon 17, Ramos 9, Reavis 8, Gonzales 7, De Ocampo 4, Gaco 2, Barroca 2, Villanueva 2.
Quarters: 17-26, 31-40, 50-66, 80-79.