James Yap beat out Paul Lee in a fierce exchange of big baskets at the finish, delivering the game-winning three-point play in the last 3.2 seconds as Rain or Shine squeezed out a 75-74 win over Magnolia Pambansang Manok to firm up its hold of the lead in the PBA Philippine Cup at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Wednesday night.
Yap came through with two triples and a critical three-point play in the fourth quarter, highlighting an 18-point performance in a big rebound from a mere two-point outing the last time out.
Lee had his big shots at endgame, including one from a great maneuver where he shook off Gabe Norwood on a turnaround move then scored on a fade-away shot off Beau Belga with 6.1 ticks to go.
The Elasto Painters, however, won’t be denied – thanks to the equally superb move of Yap.
The two-time PBA MVP winner eluded the double-teaming defense of Rome dela Rosa and Rafi Reavis to drain the equalizer.
And with a foul to boot, Yap canned in the accompanying free throw as the E-Painters stretched their hot streak to five games and fortified their place on top with a 7-1 win-loss card.
Rain or Shine 75 – Yap 18, Ahanmisi 13, Torres 11, Rosales 7, Norwood 6, Almazan 5, Belga 4, Nambatac 3, Ponferada 3, Mocon 3, Onwubere 2, Daquioag 0.
Magnolia 74 – Sangalang 16, Barroca 16, Herndon 11, Lee 10, Reavis 9, Brondial 7, Dela Rosa 2, Jalalon 2, Pascual 1, Melton 0.
Quarterscores: 24-14, 40-33, 55-49, 75-74.