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ROS hangs tough, grabs 3-0 lead

By Ricky Manliguis

QUEZON CITY—Rain or Shine survived a gritty fourth-quarter Alaska assault to carve out a pulsating 112-108 win in Game 3 of the 2016 Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Coach Alex Compton and the rest of the Aces battled back from a 27-point deficit and 14 points down in the last two minutes of the game, but the Elasto Painters somehow displayed nerves of steel to move within a win from clinching their second franchise title in this best-of-seven showdown.

The Yeng Guiao-mentored squad were ahead, 107-93, on a Gabe Norwood three-point shot with 1:40 left in the game only for the Aces to mount a spirited comeback, capped off by a Rob Dozier three-point play off Beau Belga’s sixth foul to come within 105-110, with 15 seconds remaining.

Norwood then sank two charities for a 112-105 cushion before RJ Jazul fired a three with 1.3 left, which proved to be too little, too late.

Burly big man JR QuiƱahan finally woke up after a so-so Games 1 and 2 by scoring 18 points, 13 coming from a blistering second-quarter run that turned a 32-35 deficit into a 62-47 halftime lead. Paul Lee added 14, while Jericho Cruz notched ten markers.

Dozier top scored for the Aces with 23 points, while Calvin Abueva contributed 20 before fouling out with 4:36 left in the game.

ROS’ 15 three-point conversions tied a Finals record set by San Miguel twice, one in 2001 and the other in 2013.

The Painters will now have a chance to sweep the Aces in Game 4 slated Friday also at the Big Dome, right after the awarding ceremonies for the Best Player and Best Import award.

Box Scores:

Rain Or Shine 112-Quinahan 18, Cruz 17, Henderson-Niles 11, Lee 10, Norwood 9, Belga 8, Tiu 8, Ahanmisi 7, Almazan 7, Chan 6, Ibanes 6, Ponferada 5, Nimes 0

Alaska 108-Dozier 23, Abueva 20, Banchero 15, Jazul 14, Baguio 9, Hontiveros 9, Thoss 7, Exciminiano 5, Baclao 4, Dela Rosa 2

Quarterscores: 28-28, 62-47, 95-72, 112-108

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