And Rain or Shine reigned.
Regaining the shooting touch they lost in the last two games, the Elasto Painters lit the board with 15 three-pointers and ripped the Alaska Milk Aces, 109-92, to eventually claim the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.
The ROS shooters all came out with their guns ablaze, overwhelming the Aces with a 55-percent three-point shooting to finally close out their best-of-seven titular showdown at 4-2.
The Elasto Painters snapped a string of four second-place finishes and bagged the franchise’s second crown following their title run in the 2011-12 Governors Cup with import Jamel Cornely.
Paul Lee touched off the E-Painters’ early breakaway on four consecutive three-point bombs, finished with 20 points and emerged the hands-down choice as Cignal Finals MVP winner.
Though falling behind by 23 in the second half, the Aces refused to give up the fight, but there’s no stopping the E-Painters from winning the series.
The E-Painters roared to a 3-0 lead with a 105-97 win in Game One, 105-103 triumph in Game Two and 112-108 victory in Game Three.
Alaska owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu was gracious in defeat, approaching Rain or Shine co-owners Raymond Yu and Terry Que and extending a congratulatory handshake with Lee going to the stripe and about to stretch ROS’s 103-88 lead with time down to 1:22.
The Aces were vanquished in four straight finals.
Rain or Shine sat on a 59-49 lead at the turn on an explosive first half spiked by Lee’s 17 points on a perfect shooting – 4-of-4 from beyond the arc, 2-of-2 from the two-point zone and 1-of-1 from the stripe.
After closing the first quarter with four treys, Lee opened the next with a basket on a lucky bounce from a runner but picked up a third foul in the next play, prompting Guiao to make a sub.
The 2014 FIBA World Cup veteran made so much damage in only 7:27 minutes of action in the first half.
With the other ROS gunners hitting the mark, the E-Painters led by as many as 23 at 56-33 before the Aces banked on buckets by Rob Dozier and Kevin Racal to narrow down the gap to 10 at the half.
Jericho Cruz and Gabe Norwood scored seven points apiece, leading the ROS charge that stretched their lead at 84-69 going into the payoff quarter.
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