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Jeff Chan (Photo courtesy of PBA Images)

Basketball

Rain or Shine keeps 2x-to-beat hopes alive, drowns Blackwater


With the 2016 PBA Commissioners Cup playoffs looming, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters showcased their trademark depth in sending the Blackwater Elite to the brink, 118-107, and keep their twice-to-beat hopes alive Sunday afternoon at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

“This game gave us the opportunity to prepare and give minutes to our guys,” Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao said. “This gave them confidence heading into the playoffs, or quarterfinals.”

The Elasto Painters were in cruise control for almost the entirety of the game behind the great ball movement showed by the Yeng Guiao-mentored squad. Moreover, the ROS lead ballooned to a game-high 15 points early in the third canto.

With their post-season hopes dimming, the Blackwater Elite made a huge surge behind super scorer Carlo Lastimosa and his frontline to open the final frame. After a Jeric Teng bucket that gave ROS an 87-76 lead early in the fourth quarter, free throws by Mike Cortez sparked an 8-0 rally with Lastimosa scoring half of those points.

Jeff Chan, who had 12 points in the game, calmed his troops down in scoring seven points in a 12-2 rally that broke the game wide open. A lethal triple by Chan with 3:45 remaining extended the ROS to double-digits once more 111-98 to keep the Elite at bay.

“Best of three na hintayin na lang yung match-ups,” Guiao said about the current standing of Rain or Shine. “It’s really very messy right now. I don’t know what the scenarios are but I’m sure there are a lot that are possible with the standings of the team.

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“For now we don’t have to worry. We just have to wait.”

Six Elasto Painters scored in double-figures with JR Quinahan leading the way 15 points on 7/11 shooting. Debuting import Pierre Henderson-Niles played just 25 minutes and was able to score 12 points and grab six boards. Raymond Almazan notched a double-double with 11 points and ten boards in just 14 minutes of action.

For the Elite, Carlo Lastimosa was his usual trigger happy self as he went 12/18 from the field for 27 points. JP Erram was perfect from the field in the loss as he went 8/8 for 20 markers. MJ Rhett added 19 points and 14 boards.

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters will finish the elimination round with a 7-4 slate. The only way for ROS to enter the playoffs with a twice-to-beat edge is if the San Miguel Beermen finish with a 7-4 record with two games to go.

The Scores:

Rain or Shine (118) – Quinahan 15, Chan 12, Henderson-Niles 12, Almazan 11, Ponferada 11, Teng 10, Norwood 7, Ahanmisi 6, Belga 6, Cruz 6, Ibanes 6, Lee 6, Tiu 5, Trollano 3, Nimes 2.

Blackwater (107) – Lastimosa 27, Erram 20, Rhett 19, Cervantes 14, Pascual 7, Cortez 6, Bulawan 5, Gamalinda 4, Dela Cruz 2, Reyes 1, Agovida 0.

Quarterscores: 29-24, 61-49, 80-76, 118-107.

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