Drained but resolute, Rain or Shine takes on Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at 8 p.m. Friday night (12 midnight Manila time), hoping to cash in on the gamble of playing consecutive games in a bid to swiftly jumpstart a stalled campaign following a 0-2 start.
“It’s only the first game and we need to win again tomorrow,” Guiao said after the game that concluded close to 3 a.m. Manila time. “It’s tiring, it’s tough, it’s a hard win and very physical. I’m not really sure how we can recover but we’ll try to get rested tonight and practice tomorrow morning to put in place a game plan against Ginebra.”
Down practically to 11 players after guard Jeric Teng turned an ankle in practice and center Raymond Almazan (5 minutes) endured a terrible toothache that left one side of his face swollen, Guiao paced his players so that only three saw action for more than 30 minutes and only import Wendell McKines stayed inside up to 37:04.
“We used our full rotation and tried to spread our minutes in order to be fresh for tomorrow’s game,” said Guiao.
Overshadowed by the series of fracas was the 40-point explosion of GlobalPort star Terrence Romeo and Rain or Shine forward JR Quiñahan’s 4-of-8 three-point shooting and 6-of-6 output from the perimeter.
Quiñahan’s production keyed the ROS bench’s dominance, 61 point to 31, and an 18-point late first half lead proved an enough cushion against the Romeo-charged GlobalPort comeback in the next 24 minutes.
McKines led ROS with 28 points and 13 rebounds, his vicious slam-dunk from an alley-oop pass fed by Gabe Norwood making it 117-106 with 1:23 remaining. Quinahan added 24, including successive clutch 3s halfway in the fourth when Romeo, who had 15 points in the first quarter, 4 in the second, 11 in the third and 10 in the fourth, was furiously trying to rally the Batang Pier back in the game.
With his 40-point output, 26 from Famous and 24 from Krayem, Romeo kept GlobalPort in the thick of it, even engaging Belga in berbal tussles. But without top rookie Stanley Pringle, who sat out the fiercely-fought match with an old foot injury, and Ronjay Buenafe, a third of coach Pido Jarencio’s “three-headed monster,” clanking 8 of 10 shots, including 1 of 7 treys, the Batang Pier lost most of their fangs in absorbing their second straight loss after a 3-0 start.
GlobalPort missed 28 of 36 triples and shot just 38 percent overall to ROS’ 55 percent shooting (43 of 78). The Batang Pier would come within 111-106 on a layup by import Jarrid Famous and free throws by Palestinian Omar Krayem, but Gabe Norwood turned back the threat with a triple of his own – the 14th and last ROS would make.
Jarencio was up on his feet, however, and joined his team here early Thursday after failing to take flight from Manila last Monday due to severe dehydration and fluid loss from diarrhea.
“I needed eight bottles of dextrose and some medicine to counter the effects of my ailment,” said Jarencio. “But I’m feeling better although I’m scheduled for more tests when we get home. Sayang nga lang tong laro na kasi nakabalik na kami e (from 18 points, 65-47). Masama nga lang talaga ung first half namin plus meron din tayong injuries, katulad ni Stanley na No. 1 point guard natin.”
RAIN OR SHINE 119 – McKines 28, Quiñahan 24, Norwood 12, Belga 12, Lee 9, Araña 8, Cruz Jericho 8, Cruz Jervy 6, Tang 6, Uyloan 3, Ibanes 1, Almazan 1.
GLOBALPORT 112 – Romeo 40, Famous 26, Krayem 24, Kramer 5, Buenafe 5, Isip 4, Miranda 4, Jensen 4, Semerad 0, Taha 0, Mamaril 0.
Quarters: 38-32, 66-49, 90-82, 119-112.(pr)