Rey Nambatac caught fire in the fourth quarter to lift Rain or Shine Elasto Painters past the Magnolia Hotshots, 91-81, sending their 2019 PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series to a deciding Game Seven, Friday night at Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The sophomore guard buried a total of four three-pointers in the final frame, including back-to-back hits that gave the Elasto Painters an 83-71 lead with 3:56 remaining in the game, shutting the door on the Hotshots.
Nambatac finished with 16 points on 55 percent shooting from the field, along with three rebounds and three assists.
“Nambatac stepped up,” lauded Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia of the 25-year-old from Cagayan De Oro, whom he had coached in Letran and in the PBA D-League before. “I just told the players to enjoy the game and it worked.”
James Yap had 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field, along with seven rebounds and two assists. Beau Belga supplied 15 points and four dimes, while Jewel Ponferrada chimed in 14 markers and seven caroms.
Gabe Norwood was just a field goal shy from a double-double with 10 rebounds and eight caroms.
Rain or Shine shot nearly 45 percent from the field, including burying 13 triples. Their defense was also remarkabl, as they forced Magnolia to commit 16 turnovers, which they turned to 26 points.
Ian Sangalang produced 19 points and eight rebounds with two steals to lead Magnolia. Paul Lee had 18 points, four rebounds, and two assists. Jio Jalalon flirted with a double-double with 14 markers and eight assists.
Game Seven will be on Sunday, April 28, at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Rain or Shine 91 – Nambatac 16, Yap 16, Belga 15, Ponferada 11, Torres 8, Norwood 8, Rosales 7, Ahanmisi 5, Daquioag 2, Mocon 2, Borboran 1.
Magnolia 81 – Sangalang 19, Lee 18, Jalalon 14, Herndon 9, Brondial 6, Melton 5, Reavis 4, Barroca 3, Ramos 3, Dela Rosa 0, Pascual 0, Abundo 0.
Quarterscores: 21-17, 41-35, 62-62, 91-81.