Rain or Shine regains top spot; Petron winsBy Calvin Cordova
Cebu Daily News
Jireh Ibañes played big on both ends of the floor in Rain or Shine’s 100-90 victory over the Barako Bull Energy last night in the 37th PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The semifinal-bound Elasto Painters regained sole possession of the number one spot with their sixth win in seven games, recording a second straight win after suffering their first lost against the Powerade Tigers last June 8.
In the main game, Petron Blaze recovered from a loss in a big way as it downed former leader B-Meg Derby Ace, 92-80.
The Boosters improved to 4-3 (win-loss) in the standings while the Llamados had its five-game win streak halted for a 5-2 slate good for second place.
Jay Washington led the Boosters with a season-high 29 points and nine rebounds.
Ibañes had his best offensive game in the tournament after he scored a conference-high 11 points. But his biggest contribution was on the defensive end.
Ibañes shackled Barako Bull’s prolific import Leroy Hickerson all-game long that allowed the Painters to pull away as early as the second quarter.
Barako Bull went into the game winning its last two games, where Hickerson averaged 35 points.
But with the leech-like defense of Ibañes, Hickerson was held to just 24 points, most of them came when the outcome of the contest was already settled.
Paul Lee played limited minutes after suffering a shoulder injury in the early stages of the game.
Aside from Ibañes, also stepping up for Lee’s early exit was Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood, who finished with 19 and 15 points, respectively.
Rain or Shine import Jamelle Cornley tallied 18 markers.
Doug Kramer listed 16 points, while Leo Najord had 12 for the Energy, who dropped to 3-3.
RAIN OR SHINE (100)- Chan 19, Cornely 18, Norwood 15, Ibañes 11, Buenafe 9, Cruz 6, Tang 6, Quiñahan 6, Lee 4, Belga 4, Matias 2, Jaime 0.
BARAKO (90) – Hickerson 24, Kramer 16, Najorda 12, Allado 8, Miller 7, Cruz 6, Cervantes 4, Sharma 4, Vergara 3, Tubid 3, Pennisi 3.
QUARTERSCORES: 30-27, 57-43, 76-59, 100-90.