Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rain or Shine comes back from the jaws of hell

Jeff Chan's trey that gave ROS a 98-97 lead.

Rain or Shine comes back from the jaws of hell
by rick olivares pics by nuki sabio

December 16, 2011
Smart Araneta Coliseum

In Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao’s words, Rain or Shine “came back from the jaws of hell.”

The Elasto Painters rallied from 17 points down at the start of the fourth period then outscored Barangay Ginebra 12-5 in the five-minute overtime period to win Game One of their best-of-three semifinals series.

With 4:35 to play, Ginebra led 90-77 after a KG Canaleta trey. But Rain or Shine’s JR Quiñahan scored five consecutive points before rookie Paul Lee took charge.

Guiao’s prodigious rookie scored a mere three points in the first three periods but come the fourth quarter, Lee, the former University of the East hotshot, scored 11 of Rain or Shine’s next 13 points to put them behind by a solitary point, 96-95.

But Lee followed by teammate Gabe Norwood fouled Ginebra center Rico Villanueva on consecutive possessions in a penalty situation. But Villanueva flubbed three of his four free throws that gave life to ROS with 22.2 seconds left.

In the Elasto Painters’ next attack, Jeff Chan knocked down a deadeye trey that gave ROS it’s first taste of the lead, 98-97, since the 4:56 mark of the first period when he himself also deposited three free throws (he was fouled while attempting a triple) that made it 15-13.

Gabe Norwood added a free throw to make it 99-97 but Ginebra’s Willy Wilson grabbed Canaleta’s missed three-point attempt to score from underneath to send the match into extra time with no time left.

Guiao contested Wilson’s last gasp shot as he believed the Gins’ forward stepped on the outside line before he went up for that difficult shot. “But that’s basketball,” conceded the ROS coach.

Once in overtime, Ginebra lost its groove and descended into a spate of missed shots and turnovers that spelled their doom.

If Villanueva proved to be unsteady from the line in the clutch, it was the opposite for Rain or Shine. After Canaleta scored on a layup to make it 105-103, the Elasto Painters connected on 7-8 free throws to ice the match and send Ginebra to its first defeat after four consecutive triumphs.

“Maganda yung preparation namin. We were able to execute our game plan especially on defense,” added Guiao. “Medyo flat yung start namin. Swerte kami dahil field goal percentage namin nung first half mababa. Nag-adjust kami ng third quarter. I told them we have to be aggressive especially sa ball screen.”

Guiao, who also won four titles with Swift and Red Bull, made no bones about this important win: “We thought it was a lost game. For a young team, we played with a lot of maturity. We hope that this momentum will fuel us to the semifinals. Ginebra is going to come back. It’s not going to be an easy series.”

Beau Belga's trey that gave ROS the lead for good 102-101 with 4:14 left in OT.

Villanueva’s woes at the line belied the great game he played for Ginebra as he led his side’s first quarter attack. The former Ateneo Blue Eagle scored  16 points on top of adding nine rebounds and two assists.

In the third quarter, it was Villanueva’s college teammate, Kings forward JC Intal, who presided over Ginebra’s third quarter surge when he tacked on 11 points including three triples to make it 61-48 with 6:05 left in the third. Intal was soon went out with hamstring injury and would not return.

Rain or Shine answered Intal’s third quarter explosion with Quinahan’s own artillery barrage of 16 pointers including three triples of his own before he trooped to the bench with six fouls with 1:53 to play. Lee picked up the slack for ROS in the endgame to help his side complete a monstrous rally to put them in a position to beat Ginebra for the first time in three playoff tries.

Rain or Shine 112Quiñahan 21, Lee 19, Chan 14, Araña 12, Rodriguez 11, Belga 9, Norwood 7, Tang 7, Cruz 5, Matias 4, Ibañes 3, Buenafe 0.

Ginebra 105 - Caguioa 25, Intal 16, Canaleta 16, Villanueva 16, Cortez 15, Wilson Willy 9, Labagala 4, Mamaril 4, Maliksi 0, Wilson John 0.

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