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ROS sends SMB to brink of ouster after Game 2 win


By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Rain Or Shine banked on a fourth quarter rally and withstood San Miguel's own late run to take a 98-96 victory in Game 2 of their best-of-five PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Just up by one early in the fourth quarter, the Elasto Painters launched a 21-9 run to go up by 12, 92-79, with 4:55 left and appeared to be holding on to the win entering the final minute.

But back-to-back triples from Alex Cabagnot made things interesting as the Beermen were within two, 93-95, with 36 seconds remaining.

Paul Lee swished two free throws off an Arwind Santos foul to give ROS a four-point cushion with 25.4 seconds to go.

However, Tyler Wilkerson converted a three-point play that cut the lead back to one, 97-96, with 14.9 ticks on the clock.

Lee only made one of two from charity stripe in his next trip, giving SMB the opportunity to even steal the victory.

The Beermen appeared to have won as Marcio Lassiter hit a desperation heave from beyond the arc, but the referees ruled the basket as made after the buzzer, effectively nullifying it and giving the E-Painters the 2-0 lead in the race-to-three clash.

Jericho Cruz made 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while Pierre Henderson-Niles added 15 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, one block, and one steal for ROS, which can sweep the series on Thursday at the PhilSports Arena.

Wilkerson finished with 35 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks for SMB, which actually led for most of the first half before ROS got things going in the second half.

Box Scores:

Rain or Shine 98-Cruz 16, Henderson-Niles 15, Chan 14, Ahanmisi 10, Quinahan 9, Almazan 7, Tiu 7, Lee 6, Belga 5, Ibanes 4, Norwood 3, Ponferada 2

San Miguel 96-Wilkerson 35, Ross 15, Fajardo 14, Cabagnot 13, Santos 8, David 5, Lassiter 3, Tubid 3, Reyes 0, Heruela 0

Quarterscores: 21-28, 45-46, 69-66, 98-96

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno