Any team would be demoralized if you’re down 17 points with 16 minutes remaining in the game. Just don’t tell that to Jeff Chan and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
Behind Bacolod’s finest sniper, the Elasto Painters rallied back against the Phoenix Fuel Masters, taking a 96-94 come-from-behind win to snap their two-game skid Wednesday night.
Rain or Shine will enter the Holy Week break with a 4-2 slate while Phoenix fell to 2-4. And this could not have been possible if it were not because of Chan.
“Jeff did not give up, our import did not give up. It’s our defense that did it and we made the big shots especially Jeff,” first-year Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia said.
Chan scored 14 of his 24 points in the final frame, none bigger than the go-ahead and-one play with 7.7 seconds remaining that put Rain or Shine at the forefront, 95-94. Then with no timeouts left, Phoenix tried to push the ball but RJ Jazul’s bounce pass to JC Intal went stray leading to a Chan free throw to seal the win.
“It’s a good comeback win for the team. I told them that the game is not yet over when Phoenix was up big,” Garcia said.
A bevy of Rain or Shine turnovers during the third frame led to a game-high 71-54 lead for Phoenix with 3:57 left in the quarter. Moreover, the lead was still 16 points with 8:09 left in the game.
The Elasto Painters though played its patented lock down defense, limiting Phoenix to just two field goals in the final 6:15 of the game while the troika of Chan, James Yap, and Jay Washington made the big shots.
Shawn Taggart added 20 points and 17 rebounds while Jericho Cruz chipped in 11 markers.
“We just have to be consistent on the defensive end the rest of the way,” Garcia rued.
Rain or Shine was aggressive getting to the stripe, shooting 27-for-39 from the line. It negated the 10 triples of Phoenix.
Jameel McKay led Phoenix with 27 points and 18 rebounds. Matthew Wright had to fight off foul trouble to eventually finish the game with 12 markers while Gelo Alolino added 14 markers off the bench.
Rain or Shine will next face the San Miguel Beermen on Saturday, April 22 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Phoenix, on the other hand, looks to end their two-game skid on Friday, April 21 when they take on the Alaska Aces.
Rain or Shine 96 – Chan 24, Taggart 20, Cruz 11, Almazan 8, Yap 7, Norwood 7, Belga 6, Washington 6, Ahanmisi 5, Tiu 2, Tolomia 0, Ponferada 0, Trollano 0.
Phoenix 94 – McKay 27, Alolino 14, Wright 12, Intal 11, Kramer 8, Borboran 7, Jazul 7, Baguio 6, Miranda 2, Torres 0, J. Wilson 0, Dehesa 0.
Quarterscores: 25-25, 42-46, 62-73, 96-94