The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters have gotten their act back together by edging the Alaska Aces, 86-84, to snap their two-game skid in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Saturday night at SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.
The troika of veteran Mark Borboran and young guns Ed Daquioag and Javee Mocon all played a vital part for the Elasto Painters in pulling off the win despite losing import Denzel Bowles in the second quarter due to an injury.
Rain or Shine improved its win-loss card to 4-5, thus keeping their playoff aspirations very much alive.
“It’s a huge win for us. Big loss because we don’t know the status of Denzel,” lamented Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia. “Hats off to the players for playing their hearts out. Second half we played better, we did pretty well.”
The Elasto Painters lost Bowles with about four minutes remaining in the second quarter after suffering an apparent knee injury from a collision with Alaska’s Jeron Teng. He left the game with 16 points and never returned.
“Halftime pa lang dinala na siya sa hospital because he felt that something cracked in his knee,” Garcia said.
Still, the locals fought on despite the absence of the former Best Import. Thanks to the veteran presence of Borboran on offense, the Elasto Painters managed to build a 79-70 lead with 3:32 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Aces, though, managed to trim the deficit to just three with 1:22 to go, but Ed Daquioag buried a stepback three-pointer off an isolation play to widen Rain or Shine’s advantage to six, 84-78, with only 34.4 seconds on the clock.
Alaska still tried to will themselves back after Banchero sank another triple, but Mocon coolly sank his shots from the charity stripe to make it a five-point lead for Rain or Shine, 86-81, with just 5.4 seconds left on the game.
Banchero nailed a three-pointer again, but time wasn’t enough anymore for Alaska and it only settled the final count.
“At halftime, I had to get mad at the players and I told them that we have to compete. We actually practiced Thursday without Denzel, so sabi ko, how we practiced nung Thursday, we have to bring that,” Garcia said.
Mocon and Borboran had 11 points apiece as Rey Nambatac chimed in 10 markers. Daquioag scored seven.
Banchero had 24 points and nine assists to lead Alaska, who have fallen to 4-6 after suffering its fourth loss in a row.
Import Diamon Simpson had another 20-20 performance under his belt since his return as he finished with 22 markers and 23 rebounds, along with five assists, three steals, and two blocks in over 43 minutes of playing time.
Rain or Shine 86 – Bowles 16, Mocon 11, Borboran 11, Nambatac 10, Daquioag 7, Norwood 6, Rosales 6, Torres 6, Belga 6, Onwubere 5, Ponferada 2.
Alaska 84 – Banchero 24, Simpson 22, Manuel 13, Baclao 6, Racal 6, Teng 5, Cruz 4, Thoss 2, Enciso 2, Casio 0, Pascual 0, Ayaay 0.
Quarterscores: 23-20, 39-36, 60-59, 86-84.