Rain or Shine collected its second win in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup by beating Blackwater, 71-62, Sunday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Rey Nambatac continued his fine play with 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Elasto Painters in the victory that helped them gain a share of the early lead with Meralco in the team standings as they both sport identical 2-0 cards.
Norbert Torres produced 13 points, while Javee Mocon added a double-double of his own with 12 markers and the same amount of boards.
“I’d like to thank God for providing us the energy after a one-day break, and the courage to overcome the adversity today,” said coach Chris Gavina. “We knew Blackwater was gonna come in with a great deal of fight, effort, and energy.”
That adversity he talked about was seeing their 20-point lead become just nine when Paul Desiderio and Ed Daquioag joined hands to bring the Bossing that close approaching the game’s final two minutes.
Worse, the Elasto Painters could not buy a bucket afterward for more space to breathe, as Mocon and Beau Belga missed their shots.
Fortunately for them, the other team wasn’t also able to take advantage of opportunities due to turnovers, allowing RoS to hang on.
“We really had to fight with every ounce of our resiliency on both ends of the floor,” Gavina said. “I truly feel like our defensive identity carried us tonight. It was a grinded-out kind of game.
“Even our coaches were saying that although it was a low-scoring game, our defense had to stay, and our disposition on the defensive end really carried us tonight. Great effort from our guys. I applaud them.”
Kelly Nabong led Blackwater with 18 points and seven rebounds as they suffered their second straight defeat. Daquioag added 10.
Both teams will play on Friday, July 23. Rain or Shine opens the triple-header affair against Terrafirma at 12:30 p.m., while Blackwater aims to end its skid when it battles defending champs Ginebra at 3:00 p.m.
Rain or Shine (71) — Nambatac 21, Torres 13, Mocon 12, Belga 8, Borboran 4, Santillan 4, Asistio 3, Guinto 2, Norwood 2, Ponferada 2, Wong 0, Rivero 0, Tolentino 0, Caracut 0, Yap 0.
Blackwater (62) — Nabong 18, Daquioag 10, Enciso 7, Canaleta 6, Amer 6, Magat 4, Desiderio 4, Paras 2, Torralba 2, Escoto 2, Semerad 1, Dennison 0, Golla 0, Tolomia 0, Acuno 0.
Quarterscores: 19-14, 35-24, 61-45, 71-62.