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KINGS REIGN OVER E-PAINTERS IN DUBAI FACEOFF
Published on February 25, 2012
DUBAI – Duke Crews led Rain or Shine to a mighty comeback from a 13-point deficit in the homestretch but had a big mental lapse in the closing seconds, allowing Barangay Ginebra to escape with an 89-88 squeaker in the closing game of the PBA Dubai series at the Al-Shabab Sports Club here Friday.
Crews dished out his most productive performance as a Rain or Shine import, collecting 28 points and 20 rebounds, but threw away his effort by forgetting to call a timeout after collaring the offensive carom following a missed shot by Mike Cortez with five seconds left in the clock.
In a previous timeout, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao’s instruction was clear – sue for time once they get possession.
The Elasto Painters, however, didn’t follow the order, instead running a transition play that they failed to complete, allowing the Kings to nail a second win in three starts in the mid-season Commissioner’s Cup.
Getting an outlet pass from Crews, Gabe Norwood himself didn’t call a timeout, missing a desperation shot off Jayjay Helterbrand in the dying seconds to the delight of the predominantly pro-Ginebra crowd in the jampacked playing venue.
“It’s far from a good win but we take it. We have a long 10-hour flight home. At least, we’re flying home happy,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.
“Breaks of the game. Di naka timeout si Duke Crews. Yung kay Gabe naman, di na pwedeng pigilin dahil fastbreak na,” rued Rain or Shine assistant coach Caloy Garcia.
Splitting their two games here, the Elasto Painters are going home Sunday with a 1-3 win-loss record.
Mark Caguioa topscored for Ginebra with 19 points, including a crucial five-point binge giving the Kings their 13-point spread at 87-74 with 4:57 left to play.
The Elasto Painters, however, refused to give up, going to Crews, Jeff Chan and Paul Lee as they rallied to within two at 87-89 with 43.4 ticks left.
A dribbling error by Kerby Raymundo in the next play opened the opportunity for Rain or Shine to tie. The Elasto Painters, however, failed to capitalize with Crews splitting two free throws in the last 28.3 seconds and later forgetting to call a timeout. Chris Alexander struggled for only 14 points but Jayjay Helterbrand, Mike Cortez and Kerby Ramundo also produced double-digit outputs for the Kings.
Helterbrand fired four three-pointers, including a buzzer-beater pushing Ginebra on top, 42-40, at the half. The 2009 MVP winner finished with 18 points.
The Kings took their first double-digit spread at 56-45 on a 14-5 opening run in the final half but the Elasto Painters retaliated with an 8-0 roll to quickly get back into the game. (SB)
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