The wait is finally over for the Asia Coating franchise to reach the finals of any Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) conference. It took them 6 long years to finally have a chance to fight for an elusive first PBA title. In the early 2000’s, the Welcoat team of Terrry Que and Raymund Yu were the most dominant team in the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) before strutting their stuff in the PBA. They finally can breathe a sigh of relief that their championship tradition has transitioned to the biggest basketball league in the land after beating the 2012 PBA Commissioner’s Cup champs B-Meg Llamados, 92-82, to clinch the first slot in the 2012 Governor’s Cup Finals.
Among the players who were instrumental for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painter’s win was former University of the Visayas Green Lancers star J.R. Quinahan. Quinahan of Mandaue City is probably the only CESAFI bigman who lasted this long in Asia’s first play for pay league. During his tenure at UV, the Lancers bagged the local collegiate title in every year. He will have a chance also to continue his winning tradition should the Painters win it all this year. In last night’s game, Quinahan scored 7 points and he anchored the defense of RoS when B-Meg started its final rally in the 4th quarter. He was able to get timely rebounds and blocks to take fight away from the feisty Llamados. He even hit a baseline jumper late in the quarter to somehow make it harder for B-Meg to catch up.
B-Meg was still able to cut down the lead to 6 eventually with less than a minute left after a basket by import Marcus Blakely. Ros, however, got the crucial rebounds at crunch time and were very steady in the charity lane to hold on for the win.
After the win, Coach Yeng Guiao gave a shout out to the team owners.
“Nothing could be more satisfying than to make the finals for a dedicated team [and] owners,” Guiao said. “Kaya naman pala kahit isang maliit na team na naniniwala na dito sa ligang ito, mapakita yung buti ng mga tao behind the organization.
The victory was, indeed, a testament to the balance in the league as Rain or Shine is the 4th different team who made it to the finals in this year’s season. Owner Terry Que who recently turned 62 just got one of the best birthday gifts of his life and only a championship could probably top it.
Jeffrey Chan was judged as the best player of the game finishing with 25 points. Jamelle Cornley had a big night with 16 points along with same number of boards. Marcus Blakely led B-Meg with 18 points.
B-Meg will play sister team Barangay Ginebra Kings on Friday for the right to meet the Painters in the finals. Game One of the Governor’s Cup Finals will be played this Sunday.
Rain or Shine 92 – Chan 25, Cornley 16, Buenafe 11, Cruz 9, Lee 8, Norwood 7, Belga 7, Quinahan 7, Ibanes 2, Tang 0, Arana 0.
B-MEG 82 – Blakely 18, Yap 12, Villanueva 11, Barroca 10, Simon 9, Pingris 8, De Ocampo 6, Gaco 4, Reavis 4, Urbiztondo 0.
Quarter scoring: 23-20, 49-41, 74-58, 92-82
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- Quinahan almost cost RoS opening game victory
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