The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters blew a 25-point edge in the second half, but sank the right buckets to stifle the Kia Carnival’s fourth quarter surge to ice a 119-99 victory and the much-coveted top spot in the standings on Sunday afternoon, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Kia opened the contest with four straight points to take an early lead, but a bucket from Ryan Araña and a trey from Beau Belga of Rain or Shine, gave the Elasto Painters a one-point edge. What followed was a heated back-and-forth affair that led to numerous deadlocks and lead changes. With a minute left to play, unanswered points from import Wayne Chism and Paul Lee helped the Elasto Painters pull away with a four-point lead. At the end of the first, Rain or Shine led 30-26.
The Elasto Painters welcomed the second period with six straight points to take the first double digit lead of the game, 36-26, just two minutes into the quarter. With Kia unable to stifle the Elasto Painters, who found their touch outside, the lead only continued to grow in the next few minutes of play. Three straight triples from trigger-happy Wayne Chism gave the Elasto Painters a staggering 57-33 lead with just four minutes left on the clock. LA Revilla tried to spark Kia to a late rally, but found himself contending with the Elasto Painters’ backcourt unit, who thwarted his late surge by sinking big shots of their own. At the half, Rain or Shine led 71-46.
Kia’s PJ Ramos and Hans Thiele hit big baskets in a brief flurry that brought the deficit down to twenty-one, 82-61. Rain or Shine enforcer Beau Belga responded on the other end with a split free throw opportunity to end the run. The brief rally however was enough to spark Kia to put together an even bigger one, as the next sequence of events saw PJ Ramos, Reil Cervantes, and Karl Dehesa knock down unanswered shots to come within eleven, 72-83, with just around three minutes left on the clock. Jericho Cruz put an end to the bleeding with a floater that extended the lead to thirteen, 85-72. Two straight baskets from the towering import Ramos with around less than two minutes left placed Kia within ten points, 77-87. At the end of the third quarter, Rain or Shine led 92-80.
The Carnival however still held on to some of the previous quarter’s heat, and after duking it out in the first three minutes into the fourth to finally get back into the game, a jumper from Reil Cervantes put Kia within eight, 88-96. Ryan Araña answered back for the Elasto Painters with a three on the other end to put the lead back to double digits, but was answered by a jumper by Ramos to bring the margin back to single digits, 90-99. Five straight points from Raymond Almazan helped Rain or Shine reestablish control, putting them ahead by as much as fourteen in the next few minutes of play, 104-90, approaching the halfway mark of the quarter. Back-to-back triples care of Wayne Chism and Chris Tiu shortly after made it a 17-point game, 112-95.
The last two minutes of the game saw former high school teammates Chris Tiu and TY Tang pound the first nails in the coffin, sinking triples in succession to power Rain or Shine to a 119-95 edge with just around a minute left to play. The Elasto Painters needed only to hold on a bit longer to secure the win.
Raymond Almazan was named Best Player of the Game with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Wayne Chism led the scoring with 28 points. PJ Ramos led Kia with 45 points.
With the win, Rain or Shine finishes at 8-3 and secures a twice-to-beat advantage in the coming playoffs. Kia meanwhile slides to 4-7 at the end of their second conference as part of the PBA, and may need to hope for a sufficient quotient to keep their playoff hopes alive over the other teams that may be finishing at 4-7 as well.
Rain or Shine – Chism 28, Almazan 16, Lee 14, Tiu 13, Araña 13, Norwood 10, Belga 8, Tang 7, Jericho Cruz 4, Chan 4, Quiñahan 2, Uyloan 0, Ibañes 0.
Kia – Ramos 45, Revilla 15, Dehesa 10, Cervantes 9, Ighalo 8, Cawaling 2, Thiele 2, Alvarez 2, Pascual 2, Yee 2, Avenido 2, Buensuceso 0, Bartolo 0.
Quarters: 30-26, 71-46, 92-80, 119-99
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