The well-rested Rain or Shine Elasto Painters got off to a good start in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals after downing the Magnolia Hotshots, 84-77, in Game One of their best-of-seven series Friday night at SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters wasted their 10-0 start into the match, but the young guns shone in the third quarter to give the lead back to their side. The veterans then did their part, applying the finishing touches in the final period to bag the win.
“It’s nice to get the first game, but we have to move on quick and focus on Game Two,” said Elasto Painters head coach Caloy Garcia. “We know how coach Chito [Victolero] coaches. For sure he’s going to make adjustments.”
Javee Mocon shone brightly in the victory, leading Rain or Shine with 15 points – spiked by two treys – and 10 rebounds.
The rookie out of San Beda joined forces with fellow young guns Ed Daquioag and Rey Nambatac in the third quarter, where the Elasto Painters made a 15-1 run to turn an eight-point deficit to a 54-48 edge with 4:30 on the clock.
That was all Rain or Shine needed. They remained in the driver’s seat the rest of the way thanks to their veterans. They would go on to lead by as many as 10, 63-53, after James Yap’s trey with 8:53 left to play.
Gabe Norwood filled the stat sheet with 13 points, eight rebounds, three steals, two assists, and a block in the win. Meanwhile, Beau Belga went all across the board as well by producing 12 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block.
Daquioag chimed in 10 markers.
The Elasto Painters managed the victory even after losing guard Maverick Ahanmisi due to injury. He was hurt just three minutes into the game after his ankle was clipped by Magnolia forward Rome Dela Rosa.
Paul Lee led Magnolia with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Ian Sangalang supplied 13 points and five caroms against seven turnovers. Meanwhile, Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Game Two is on Sunday, April 14, still at the Big Dome.
Rain or Shine 84 – Mocon 15, Norwood 13, Belga 12, Daquioag 10, Rosales 9, Yap 8, Nambatac 7, Borboran 6, Ponefrada 2, Torres 2, Ahanmisi 0.
Magnolia 77 – Lee 15, Sangalang 13, Barroca 12, Jalalon 11, Reavis 9, Melton 7, Ramos 4, Brondial 4, Dela Rosa 2, Simon 0, Herndon 0.
Quarterscores: 19-16, 33-37, 61-58, 84-77.