Lee-less ROS opens PBA season with win over Star

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--No Paul Lee? No problem!

Rain Or Shine leaned on its still deep rotation to open the 2016 season of the PBA with a 96-87 victory over Star at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday night.

In a game supposed to be played on Sunday but was moved to Wednesday due to Typhoon Lando, the Elasto Painters rallied back from 12 points down as their other guards stepped up in the absence of their star.

Jeff Chan and Jeric Teng lighted up the scoring for ROS early in the third quarter, while big man Jewel Ponferrada came to work as well to help the team pull to within one, 59-60.

Star went on an 8-2 run to momentarily up the lead to seven, 68-61, but ROS recovered as J.R. Quinahan scored timely baskets to pull his team to the driver's seat, 71-70.

Both teams went toe-to-toe in the early stages of the fourth quarter until the E-Painters went on a game-deciding 12-2 run to seal the win.

Quinahan finished with 17 points off the bench along with eight rebounds, two assists, and four blocks, while Jericho Cruz added 15 markers, five caroms, and one dime for ROS, who according to Coach Yeng Guiao after the game will miss the service of Lee for four more weeks because of a reported slight ACL tear.

Three players scored 15 points each for Star, who played for the first time under new coach Jason Webb.

Box Scores:

Rain Or Shine 96-Quinahan 17, Cruz 15, Belga 11, Almazan 9, Norwood 9, Chan 8, Tiu 7, Ponferrada 6, Ibanes 4, Teng 4, Ahanmisi 3, Trollano 0

Star 87-Mallari 15, Yap 15, Barroca 15, Sangalang 13, Simon 11, Pingris 8, Torres 5, Melton 2, Maliksi 2, Reavis 1, J. Pascual 0

Quarterscores: 17-25, 40-47, 69-70, 96-87

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