Manila, Philippines – Even without Coach Yeng Guiao’s guidance during the first-half action, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters stepped up and took court ownership over the Alaska Aces during the latter period, 102-95, to even out the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup Semifinals battle at 1-1 on Saturday, December 20 at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.
Jervy Cruz and Jonathan Uyloan were the bright spots for the Elasto Painters, piling up unexpected series of baskets that led the second-seeded team enjoy as much as 20-point lead during the first half.
Coach Yeng Guiao’s competitive squad did a strategic, well-rounded plays to block scoring opportuinites for the Aces and force an anticipated Game 3 on Monday, December 22.
ROS Assistant Coach Caloy Garcia took over and called the shots to the Elasto Painters during Coach Yeng Guiao’s absence due to a traffic jam while he was on his way to the Mall of Asia Arena. Guiao arrived at the halftime of the game, with his squad leading with 55-36.
The victory was just at arms distance for Rain or Shine during the third period as they poured another 20-point deficit to Alaska, but the Aces put a sudden scare as they trimmed the deficit to just 5 points courtesy of Eric Menk’s 3 points during the final clock ticks of the game.
The Elasto Painters did not allow Alaska to pile up and cut the deficit even more and pushed them to the edge and finish the struggle at 102-95.
It was an all-around effort from the Elasto Painters, but Cruz and Uyloan have both their shoes on fire as they led with two-digit scores individually. Jervy Cruz posted the highest score with 19 points while teammate Jonathan Uyloan chipped in 18 hits.
Alaska Aces, on the other hand, was led by veteran big man Eric Menk who had 18 points while Vic Manuel and Cyrus Baguio scored 17 and 14, respectively.