Sportsaholic

Powerade takes 3-2 series lead

Marcio Lassiter and the Tigers are one win away from the finals. Photo by Sid Ventura.

The curse of Friday the 13th struck the Araneta Coliseum after a freak accident at a nearby construction site knocked out power and forced the Powerade-Rain or Shine game to be played without air conditioning.

By the end of the game, the Elasto Painters probably thought they were cursed as well.

The Tigers overhauled a six-point deficit in the last 1:44, holding the E-Painters scoreless over the last 1:18 to essay another thrilling come-from-behind victory, winning 110-108 to grab a crucial 3-2 series lead and move within a game of an improbable stint in the PBA Philippine Cup finals.

Continuing a pattern that's held throughout the first five games, Powerade has won all its games by a close margin, while Rain or Shine has won its two games by double digits. The Elasto Painters were in great position, though, to reverse this trend, seizing a six-point lead at 106-100 with a Gabe Norwood split with 1:44 left after Marcio Lassiter missed an open triple.

Like he has done all throughout these playoffs, Gary David kept the Tigers afloat with a three-point shot that cut the lead to three with 1:30 left. Norwood answered with a drive 12 seconds later to make it a two-possession game once again. And after JV Casio split his free throws with 1:07 left, the E-Painters had to be feeling good about their chances.

But they couldn't put the game away, missing twice and failing to come down on defense after the Tigers had finally secured possession. David led the break, passing off to Lassiter on the right flank, who in turn found Casio open near the left corner. Casio's long two found its mark, and he even drew a foul from an onrushing JR Quiñahan. He sank the bonus free throw, making it 108-107 with only 36.6 seconds remaining.

Quiñahan took an ill-advised three with still plenty of time left on the clock, forcing him to foul Lassiter with 15.8 seconds to go. The Fil-Am swingman nailed both his throws, giving the Tigers a one-point lead. In the next play, Ronjay Buenafe missed a difficult scoop shot along the baseline, and Lassiter was fouled again. This time, he split his free throws, giving Rain or Shine 10.2 seconds to do something to salvage the game.

Larry Rodriguez found himself momentarily open near the basket, but Lassiter atoned for his missed free throw with a huge block on the RoS big man. There were still five seconds left, though, and Jeff Chan got a good look from the corner. But his triple bounced out, and Beau Belga's follow-up from 14 feet was also off, sealing another close, exciting win for the Tigers, who are now one win away from carrying their fairytale ride into the finals.

David topscored for Powerade with 28 points, the first time he has scored below 30 in the playoffs, while Casio had his biggest scoring output in the semis with 25. It was a feat not lost on his coach Bo Perasol.

"The hype, most of the time, belongs to Marcio and Gary," Perasol said. "And the only reason people are talking about those two guys is because JV is delivering [the ball] to them. So this is the time for him to shine. There was a time when the defense of Rain or Shine just kept on choking us and we didn't know what to do. But knowing JV, he just has to find a way to create for us. That four-point play (actually it was just a three-point play) that he did was just tremendous for us."

"I had to be aggressive," Casio said. "I know what I can do. I just have to believe in myself."

But while Casio was big on offense, Perasol noted the team also came up big on defense, especially in the last minute of the game.

"Of course, at the end, what mattered most were the stops that we made against Rain or Shine," he said, referring to their ability to hold the E-Painters scoreless in the last 1:18.

For Rain or Shine, it was another painful collapse reminiscent of their Game 3 overtime loss. If the ball had just bounced a little bit in their favor in Games 3 and 5, they would already be celebrating their first finals appearance in franchise history by now. Instead, the Elasto Painters must now sweep the last two games of the series, beginning with Game 6 on Sunday.

It was a rather disappointing ending for Quiñahan, who led his team with 18 points only to indirectly aid Powerade's rally with that foul on Casio and that missed triple. The loss also wasted the exemplary offensive game of defensive stopper Jireh Ibañes, who scored a season-high 13 points, including six in the third period that helped give RoS its biggest lead of the game at 68-59. But the Tigers quickly responded with a 9-1 run that cut the lead to just one, and from there no team led by more than six points.

E-mail: sid_ventura@yahoo.com.

  • Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet
    Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    When the first Earth Day was held in 1970, geologists were still putting the finishing touches on plate tectonics, the model that explains how the Earth's surface takes shape. For today's Earth day, here are some of Earth's biggest unsolved mysteries. Scientists think Earth was a dry rock after it coalesced 4.5 billion years ago. But the beginnings of Earth's water are shrouded in mystery because so little rock evidence remains from this time period. …

  • Angel calls birthday boy Luis ‘amazing’
    Angel calls birthday boy Luis ‘amazing’

    [caption id="attachment_130927" align="alignright" width="300"] Angel Locsin and Luis Manzano (Instagram)[/caption] Angel Locsin is extra sweet to boyfriend Luis Manzano today, with the latter commemorating his 33rd birthday. The actress authorized Sagip Kapamilya Foundation to auction the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle, which is her dream car. …

  • Miss America defends student suspended for asking her to prom
    Miss America defends student suspended for asking her to prom

    By Chris Francescani NEW YORK (Reuters) - Miss America has suggested officials at a Pennsylvania high school reconsider their decision to suspend a student for approaching her at a school assembly and asking her to be his prom date, the beauty queen said on Saturday. The disciplinary action taken by school administrators in York against the 18-year-old senior made national headlines, and generated sympathy for the young man on social media. A video of Central York High School senior Patrick …

  • Why You Forget: 5 Strange Facts About Memory

    Although rare, certain activities can result in a temporary memory loss and brain fog, called transient global amnesia. For example, sex has been reported to cause this memory problem, with patients forgetting the past day or so, and having difficulty forming new memories. …

  • U.S. Embassy in Manila denies report of visa-free U.S. entry for Filip …
    U.S. Embassy in Manila denies report of visa-free U.S. entry for Filip …

    Don’t fall for rumors that Filipinos may now visit the United States without a visa, U.S. embassy in Manila told the public Wednesday. …

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    LiveScience.com - Tue, Apr 22, 2014
    Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    When the first Earth Day was held in 1970, geologists were still putting the finishing touches on plate tectonics, the model that explains how the Earth's surface takes shape. For today's Earth day, here are some of Earth's biggest unsolved mysteries. Scientists think Earth was a dry rock after it coalesced 4.5 billion years ago. But the beginnings of Earth's water are shrouded in mystery because so little rock evidence remains from this time period. …

  • Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    Cover Media - 11 hours ago
    Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    Jodie Foster has reportedly tied the knot with Alexandra Hedison, who she has been dating for less than a year. …

  • David Moyes statement after Man United firing

    David Moyes statement after Man United firing

    Associated Press - 8 hours ago
    David Moyes statement after Man United firing

    Statement released by David Moyes on Wednesday, a day after Manchester United announced he left as manager after less than a season in charge. …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options