Araneta Coliseum– 2011 PBA Draft second pick Paul Lee showed why he was drafted so high by leading the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to a thrilling 94-93 victory over the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the opening game of Philippine Cup of the 37th season of the Philippine Basketball Association.
The former UE Red Warrior finished with 21 points to become the leading scorer in his first pro game. He added 8 assists to spearhead the offense of Yeng Guiao-coached Painters. The Painters were actually leading most of the game and they even held leads as much as 16 points only to let the crowd favorites Ginebra comeback and almost steal the game in the dying seconds.
The Elasto Painters were still leading 87-71 barely 7 minutes left in the game. A 20-7 run fueled by JC Intal and Jayjay Helterbrand cut the lead of the Painters to 3, 94-91. With 1.3 seconds left JR Quinahan fouled Intal while taking a desperation 3 point shot. Intal went to the line for 3 free throws. He made the first 2 then missing the third. John Wilson got the ball in the ensuing scramble only to miss his buzzer-beater attempt and preserved the victory for Rain or Shine.
The Philippine Cup will continue on Wednesday with Powerade challenging Shopinas in the first game while the main game pits sister teams B-Meg and Petron. The games will be played in Cuneta Astrodome, Pasay City and it will be aired live by AKTV.
Rain or Shine 94 – Lee 21, Chan 18, Norwood 11, Buenafe 10, Cruz 8, Quinahan 7, Matias 6, Belga 4, Rodriguez 4, Ibanes 4, Arana 1.
Ginebra 93 – Intal 16, Caguioa 16, Helterbrand 11, Tubid 8, Cortez 8, Wilson J. 6, Canaleta 6, Villanueva 6, Labagala 5, Mamaril 5, Wilson W. 4, De Ocampo 2, Cervantes 0.
Quarters: 20-19, 44-37, 77-62, 94-93