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PBA: Santillan saves the day as all-Filipino ROS escapes Terrafirma

Leonard Santillan came through in the clutch as an all-Filipino Rain or Shine survived an upset-seeking Terrafirma, 120-118, for its second win in a row in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Thursday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The sophomore was found open near the rim by a doubled Rey Nambatac for the go-ahead bucket with seven-tenths of a second left to play, and the Elasto Painters prevented their foes from gaining a good look to seal the deal.

Santillan finished with 21 points and six rebounds as he made up for a costly turnover he committed prior, where his intended pass to Beau Belga instead led to Jordan Williams tying the game at 116-all with 52.2 ticks left.

“The talk in the dugout was just for everybody to make contributions, just step up and make an effort,” said head coach Yeng Guiao. “Naramdaman ko rin na the guys were determined to win even without Greg.”

Andrei Caracut led Rain or Shine with a career-high 25 points on six triples, pouring 16 in the first half alone for a slim 59-57 lead at the break.

Gabe Norwood turned in his best showing in a long while with 18 points, while Nambatac and Anton Asistio had 14 and 10 markers, respectively, as the locals picked it up after Greg Smith II was barred from playing due to clearance woes.

The American winger, who debuted against Blackwater last Sunday, was told minutes prior to the match that he can’t play as he’s yet to gain clearance from the Dominican Republic’s federation, where he last played back in 2021.

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“It was a test of character. The guys did not give up, hindi sila nasiraan ng loob. Magandang development ito para sa amin. We have a few more days to prepare. Of course, we’re hoping that Greg can play,” Guiao said.

The Elasto Painters (2-4) hope to have a complete lineup when they take on Magnolia on February 22, 5:45 p.m. at the Philsports Arena.

Williams, meanwhile, led Terrafirma with 30 points and 16 rebounds as he carried much of the load especially in the closing minutes, when the team lost Juami Tiongson and Andreas Cahilig to foul trouble.

Tiongson had 23 points. Eric Camson had 14 while Cahilig and Alex Cabagnot added 13 markers apiece in the stinging defeat, which dealt the Dyip their first losing skid this conference after a 2-2 start.

Terrafirma (2-4) will try to snap out of its funk against the struggling Phoenix Super LPG (1-5) on Saturday, 4:30 also at the Big Dome.

The Scores:

Rain or Shine 120 – Caracut 25, Santillan 21, Norwood 18, Nambatac 14, Asistio 10, Belga 9, Borboran 8, Ildefonso 6, Yap 4, Ponferrada 3, Demusis 2, Clarito 0, Torres 0.

Terrafirma 118 – J.Williams 30, Tiongson 23, Camson 14, Cabagnot 13, Cahilig 13, Ramos 6, Gomez de Liano 6, Calvo 5, Gabayni 4, Alolino 3, Daquioag 1.

Quarterscores: 33-28, 59-57, 90-87, 120-118.

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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