Jay-R Quiñahan and Jericho Cruz powered Rain or Shine’s 112-108 victory over Alaska in Game 3 on Wednesday, beefing up its lead to 3-0 in the best-of-seven finals of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Quiñahan tallied 13 of his 18 points in the second quarter including four treys, while Cruz finished with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting in the field plus six rebounds to bring the Elasto Painters one victory away from their second overall title in the league.
Rain or Shine won Game 1 (105-97) and Game 2 (105-103).
“The good thing was we have a huge lead because we really didn’t finish this game well,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao during the postgame interview. “We have one foot ahead in winning a championship – mental focus being able to execute our game plan.”
“We have all the materials to beat their press we’ve been doing that throughout the series, we’ve been generally playing good defense throughout the series. Consistent defense and keeping the game fast is going to be the key next Friday.”
Import Pierre Henderson-Niles contributed 11 points through 5-of-7 shooting in the field in addition 13 rebounds, five assists and three blocks. Guard Paul Lee contributed 10 points while Gabe Norwood added nine points.
Chris Tiu and Beau Belga chipped in eight points apiece also for the Elasto Painters.
Rain or Shine outscored Alaska in the three-point territory 15-11.
With the score at 28-all at the end of first quarter, Quiñahan initiated a second quarter blitz resulting in the Elasto Painters’ 62-47 halftime edge. All of Alaska’s attempt to catch up during the second half failed.
With a sustained offensive and tight defense, Rain or Shine enjoyed its biggest lead, 95-68, before the end of the third quarter. Rain or Shine maintained a commanding lead in the payoff period and was never threatened the rest of the way.
Former Best Import Robert Dozier posted 23 points and eight rebounds plus four blocks, while Calvin Abueva finished with 20 points eight rebounds and six assists for Alaska.