THE Rain or Shine (RoS) Elasto Painters trounced the Alaska Aces, 105-97 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven finals of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday.
An upbeat Elasto Painters showing solid performance registered an impressive 52 percent from the three-point area and 44 points from the shaded area.
Paul Lee led RoS with 20 points off a four out of five shooting performance from the arc while Jericho Cruz contributed 18 markers, nine boards and five assists.
Rain or Shine came out hungry with a jumper by Jericho Cruz in the 3:27 minute mark of the first period, en route to a 12-point lead, 24-10.
The Aces slowly gained momentum in the remaining minutes of the initial quarter to cut the deficit down to just four points, 29-25, with a buzzer-beating trey by Chris Banchero.
In the second half, Alaska managed to catch up after two minutes of action through a Rob Dozier shot bringing the score to 29-all.
But Lee notched two baskets from beyond the arc to allow the Elasto Painters grab the lead, 51-46, at the end of the first half.
When the game resumed, a determined Alaska took the floor with a trifecta from Dozier resulting in a 77-74 lead going into the final quarter.
Both squads traded blows as the fourth canto unfolds with Rain or Shine eventually erecting a seven-point lead, 94-87, with less than six minutes left in the game.
With just a minute left, the Elasto Painters continued their of sniper attacks led by Lee resulting in a five-point lead in the final 51 seconds. Alaska failed to retaliate until the final buzzer allowing RoS to take Game 1.
Gabe Norwood finished with 11 points including crucial back-to-back baskets in the final period in addition to five rebounds and two assists.
Beau Belga contributed 15 points on a 75 percent shooting performance while Maverick Ahanmisi and Jewel Ponferrada had eight and seven points, respectively.
Dozier ended the meeting with a double-double performance of 41 points and 15 boards.
“Its nice to be in the finals and its nice to win Game 1 but it’s not over. I know Alaska will be back,” RoS head coach Yeng Guiao said during the postmatch news conference.
“We know Paul was getting back his game. Two or three games ago, he was already getting into the groove. This is just the right time for him to get his game back,” he added.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven championship series was set on Sunday 5 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
RAIN OR SHINE 105 – Lee 20, Cruz 18, Belga 15, Norwood 11, Ahanmisi 8, Ponferada 7, Henderson-Niles 6, Almazan 4, Quinahan 4, Tiu 4, Chan 3, Ibanes 3, Trollano 2.
ALASKA 97 – Dozier 41, Baguio 14, Baclao 10, Abueva 9, Banchero 9, Jazul 5, Dela Rosa 4, Hontiveros 3, Thoss 2, Exciminiano 0.
Quarters: 29-25, 51-46, 74-77, 105-97