Rain or Shine fought its way back from a 21-point deficit with a scintillating second-half performance, overpowering the Japan University Basketball Federation’s select team with a final score of 116-91 in the 2023 William Jones Cup at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium on Saturday.
The Elasto Painters had to weather a slow start, trailing 42-21 in the opening period, before igniting a blistering 25-2 run that spanned the third and final frames.
Leading the charge in the remarkable second-half onslaught was Santi Santillan, who concluded the game with 20 points, shooting a flawless 8-of-8 from the field.
Numerous players stepped up for Rain or Shine, breaching the century mark for the first time in the competition.
Ange Kouame and Gian Mamuyac led six other teammates in reaching double figures, each contributing 18 points, while Nick Evans also amassed 17 points.
Andrei Caracut orchestrated the offensive strategy with 12 points and nine assists, complemented by Anton Asistio’s 11 points.
Rain or Shine also clamped down on the defensive end.
After permitting Anthony Sukegawa to score 17 points in the first half, they restricted him to just five points for the remainder of the game.
Hiyuu Ozawa added 19 points for Japan.
The young Japanese team was the same squad Ateneo de Manila University based in an exhibition game prior to the World University Basketball Series.
Rain or Shine aims to conclude the tournament with a victory against UC Irvine on Sunday.