Rain or Shine returned to the PBA On Tour win column following a 118-112 victory over NorthPort, Wednesday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Santi Santilan bannered the well-deployed attack with 20 points as the Elasto Painters picked themselves up from their loss to Magnolia in Dumaguete over the weekend that guaranteed the Hotshots the top honors of the preseason.
“I give all the credit to the players,” said assistant coach Mike Buendia. “They played with effort, especially coming off a loss against Magnolia. Maganda ‘yung naging first day of practice from that loss, kaya it carried over sa game na ‘to.”
Spitfire guards Anton Asistio and Andrei Caracut finished with 17 points apiece as the backcourt tandem combined for seven of the team’s 15 three-pointers in the victory that improved Rain or Shine’s record to 7-2.
Shaun Ildefonso supplied 14 points and four steals as a starter. while Gian Mamuyac provided 12 points, five rebounds, and six assists.
Beau Belga produced 11 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists as fellow veteran Jewel Ponferrada chimed in 10 markers and five boards.
As balanced as the scoring was, the win was by no means easy for the Elasto Painters. They led by as much as 20 points only for the Batang Pier to cut it down to just six, 112-106, approaching the game’s final three minutes.
Timely baskets by Belga, Mark Borboran, and Caracut, though, were enough to weather the fourth-quarter storm as RoS went on to leave with the narrow win.
“‘Yung lapses lang sa endgame, medyo marami kaming turnovers,” said Buendia as his wards allowed the opposition to score 35 points in the fourth quarter. “Pero eventually we got the win, thank God.”
Buendia called the shots for Rain or Shine as head coach Yeng Guiao and lead assistant Caloy Garcia are both overseas. Guiao is in Bali, Indonesia with his family while Garcia is in Japan for De La Salle’s training camp.
The Elasto Painters have two games left in the On Tour, first versus Blackwater on Sunday before wrapping it up against Meralco on July 28.
JM Calma led NorthPort with 22 points and 16 rebounds in the loss. Arvin Tolentino had 20 points and six boards while Fran Yu added 19.
Kent Salado made 16 points and seven assists, as MJ Ayaay added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Batang Pier, who fell to 5-5.
Rain or Shine 118 – Santillan 20, Asistio 17, Caracut 17, Ildefonso 14, Mamuyac 12, Belo 11, Ponferrada 10, Belga 9, Clarito 6, Borboran 0.
NorthPort 112 – Calma 22, Tolentino 20, Yu 19, Salado 16, Munzon 9, Zamar 8, Ayaay 6, Santos 4, Balagasay 2, Bauzon 2, Gabriel 0, Olivario 0.
Quarterscores: 30-27, 56-45, 93-77, 118-112.