Gregorio beats Garcia, at last.

Ever since Coach Caloy Garcia took over the Elasto Painters, Purefoods has never won against the said team. As Mico Halili said, "He is the only coach he has not beaten yet." And yes, it is true. I started watching the PBA in 2008, during the Philippine Cup Championship Game 3 between PF and SLR. I continued this passion for PBA and ever since I started watching, I never saw Purefoods win over the franchise. As we all know, Rain or Shine was formerly known as Welcoat and during the 2008 Fiesta Conference, the team won only 4 games in the entire conference, 2 of those games were won against the Giants. Last Conference (2009 Philippine Cup), Purefoods suffered the same feat, losing 2 games against Rain or Shine in 2 Thursdays.

But, this time, the tables were turned. However, turning the tables was pretty hard for the giants as the first half ended with the Giants' 5 point lead at 45-40 and with a total of 8 lead changes. Since the venue was not airconditioned, both imports were not dominant in the game. Because of that, the locals had to work extra hard to win; especially the locals of Purefoods because their import, Brian Hamilton, got ejected early in the 3rd quarter due to a flagrant foul penalty 2 against Rob Wainwright. Good thing that Kerby Raymundo, Don Allado, James Yap, and PJ Simon stepped up and brought in points for the Giants while Al Vergara, the former import for the Singapore Slingers, brought the energy and the momentum that lifted their all-Filipino lineup. They actually did very well. They had a 15-2 run against ROS and had 29-11 turnover points even without Hamilton.

Although the 4 were very active for their team, 3 people from Rain or Shine also had the "hot hands" for shooting field goals; namely, Gabe Norwood, Sol Mercado (who was suspended in their last game), and Don Dulay. Norwood had three 3pt fieldgoals, Mercado had 11 points (6 in the 2nd qtr?), and 4 shots from rainbow country went in for Don Dulay. Their import, Charles Clark, had 12 points and was not given much playing time in the second half. While they enjoyed knocking shots in, one guy remained unfortunate and that was Jireh Ibañes who had 5 misses in a row. (?)

So, how did Purefoods win without their import? Well, they had the momentum, they showed that they "had the bigger heart" as Don Allado has said. It was a very hard-earned win as Purefoods had to win it without their import like in Coke's 1st win against Barako Bull. Actually, it was more difficult for them since they weren't able to win it in regulation; the game was sent into overtime with the score of 87 all. This is due to the missed freethrows by Wainwright and missed buzzerbeater by James Yap.

Nonetheless, the game was for Purefoods and Purefoods alone. The momentum was completely in their favor in the overtime period. Simon had 5 straight points while Roger Yap and Allado knocked in 3 straight charities. The game ended with an 8 point lead for the giants at 102-94.

The scores:
Purefoods 102 Allado 22, Raymundo 21, Yap J. 19, Simon 17, Canaleta 6, Hamilton 5, Yap R. 5, Vergara 4, Adducul 2, Villanueva 1.
Rain or Shine 94 Norwood 14, Reyes 13, Dulay 12, Clark 12, Mercado 11, Wainwright 11, Isip 10, Arana 9, Laure 2, Andaya 0, Ibañes 0.
Quarterscores 23-25, 45-40, 68-60, 87-87 (reg.), 102-94 (OT)

**credits to (scores)**