Combo guard Paul Lee propelled Rain or Shine to a 134-132 double overtime victory on Saturday over tenacious Barako Bull squad in the quarterfinals of 40th Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The former University of the East shooting guard, who scored 23 points via 6-of-9 three-point shooting plus eight rebounds and seven assists, sneaked in through two defenders to score the crucial basket bringing the score to 134-132, with 7.3 seconds left in the second overtime period.
Barako’s Chico Lanete bungled a potential game-tying basket as the final buzzer sounded. The victory also earned Rain or Shine its seventh consecutive Final Four appearance.
“It took a little while before we accomplished our objective but the more important thing is we did it,” said Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao during a post-game interview. “We did not want to go into a second game. We played good in first quarter but they cut off the lead easily.”
“Barako gave us a really hard time but that’s the way to the semis. Minimum objective is making the semifinals we’ve been able to do that in the last three conferences. From here, we will see what happens who our matchup will be.”
Rain or Shine Wendell McKines dominated the game with 36 points and 15 rebounds. Guard Chris Tiu had 14 points, while teammates Jeff Chan and Ryan Araña added 12 points apiece for the Elasto Painters.
Beau Belga finished with 11 points, six boards and four assists while Gabe Norwood had eight points also for the Elasto Painters.
Not depending on their twice-to-beat advantage, the Elasto Pain¬ters refused to collapse in the two overtime periods as they countered every rally by the Energy Cola initiated by seven-footer import Liam McMorrow, JC Intal and Ryan Roose Garcia.
Barako Bull failed to enter the semifinals despite the exemplary effort of McMorrow and Garcia plus an impressive 6-1 win-loss record in the elimination round.
McMorrow finished with 32 points and 23 rebounds, while Garcia had 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
The quarterfinals battle between Rain or Shine and Barako Bull is now the game with the highest ending score in 22 years. San Miguel Beer beat Swift 140-138 in Game One of the 1993 Governors’ Cup finals.
In the second game, Meralco overcame a lethargic first quarter performance to zap San Miguel Beer 106-99, forcing a rubber match for a semifinals berth on Monday.
Import Andre Emmet scored 28 points plus 10 rebounds and four assists while Jared Dillinger added 21 points, including four triples.
Forward Kelly Nabong had a double-double scoring 15 points plus 12 rebounds to keep Meralco alive in the series. The Bolts could enter the semifinals if it win again on Monday.
Junmar Fajardo led SMB with 30 points and nine rebounds.