Buried in an early hole in the PBA Governors’ Cup and on the brink of going out of relevance in the conference, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters delivered a spirited effort to outlast the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 119-112 Thursday (Friday in Manila) in the first of two games at the Al Shabab Sports Club in Dubai.
The Elasto Painters fired a hot start in the first half but had to weather a huge comeback attempt from the resilient Batang Pier to eke out their first win in the conference and improve to 1-2.
The Batang Pier in contrast dropped their second straight meeting after winning three consecutive to open the conference for a standing of 3-2 thru five games.
Wendell McKines led Rain or Shine with 28 points and 12 rebounds while JR Quiñahan notched a PBA career-high 24 points coming off the bench in the win that negated a 40-point eruption from GlobalPort guard Terrence Romeo, a personal best in the league.
McKines and Paul Lee were responsible for a 13-2 juggernaut for Rain or Shine to open the match, and although GlobalPort got back using an 11-0 run of its own, it was the Elasto Painters which did not relent in the first half to erect a 66-49 halftime advantage.
But Pido Jarencio’s wards displayed tremendous grit in the second half, riding on the exploits of Jarrid Famous and Omar Krayem, firing jabs and bringing the deficit down to single digits heading into the payoff period.
A see-saw battle ensued in the fourth quarter with two free throws from Krayem bringing GlobalPort within 106-111 with over two minutes left in regulation.
But it proved to be the final stand for the squad as Gabe Norwood knocked down a back-breaking three in the next possession followed by an alley-oop slam by McKines off a Famous turnover, making it 117-106 for the Elasto Painters.
Famous had 26 points and 16 rebounds in his return to the PBA but was only 9-for-23 from the field while Krayem finished with 24 points.
Rain or Shine moved the ball better as well, assisting 26 of its 43 made field goals compared to only 11 dimes for GlobalPort.
Yeng Guiao’s troops return to action tomorrow against crowd darling Barangay Ginebra.
Rain or Shine (119) – McKines 28, Quiñahan 24, Norwood 12, Belga 12, Lee 9, Jr. Cruz 9, Araña 8, Jv. Cruz 6, Tang 6, Uyloan 3, Almazan 1, Ibañes 1
Globalport (112) – Romeo 40, Famous 26, Krayem 24, Buenafe 5, Kramer 5, Jensen 4, Miranda 4, Isip 4, Mamaril 0, Taha 0, Ponferrada 0
Quarters: 38-32, 66-49, 90-82, 119-112.
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