Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Petron returns to PBA Finals; bested Rain or Shine (REPLAY VIDEO)

The Petron Blaze Boosters rained down three-pointers on Rain or Shine for a blistering 110-89 victory on Monday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum to make their return to the finals of the PBA Governors’ Cup.

“We’re living the dream,” said Petron coach Gee Abanilla. “This is a very good opportunity for us.”

Elijah Millsap broke out of his two-game slump to score 34 points, Marcio Lassiter added 27, while Alex Cabagnot had 23 for Petron, which wrapped up the semifinals series, 3-1.

Petron sizzled from beyond the arc, making 14-of-27 three-pointers for a 51.9 percent clip.

The defending champion Elasto Painters, already missing star guard Paul Lee, suffered another blow in the first half after Jeff Chan went out with an injury in the second quarter.

The Boosters took advantage, opening the second half with 16 straight points to open up an imposing 62-40 lead.

Petron’s advantage ballooned all the way to 25 points, 70-45, courtesy of Millsap, who scored 18 points in the third period. But Rain or Shine came charging back behind import Arizona Reid, cutting the deficit to just 10, 80-70.

But Lassiter nailed back-to-back three pointers to push the Petron lead back to 16, and timely baskets from Petron kept Rain or Shine at bay the rest of the way.

“I just told my teammate I’ll be ready, and my teammates found me tonight,” said Lassiter.

Petron enters the finals of a PBA tournament since winning the Governors’ Cup in 2011, in a memorable series that saw the Boosters slam the Grand Slam bid of Talk ‘N Text.

They will take on the San Mig Coffee Mixers, who earlier took the first seat in the title round after eliminating Meralco.

The two franchises have a long history, but haven’t met in the finals since the Governors’ Cup in 2000, when San Miguel Beer defeated Purefoods, 4-1, in their best-of-seven series.


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