On Sunday at the Philsports Arena, Rain or Shine defeated NLEX down the stretch to win 110-100 and advance to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals.
With 2:53 remaining, the Elasto Painters made an 11-2 run to go up 98-89 after breaking a close 87-all game with five straight points from guard Andrei Caracut.
The Elasto Painters took a 12-point lead over the Road Warriors at the 2:46 mark thanks to a Leonard Santillan three-pointer from the corner off a Caracut assist.
First under returning Coach Yeng Guiao and first since the Philippine Cup bubble in Bacolor last year, Rain or Shine is in the playoffs.
However, in the playoffs, the No. 8 seeded Elasto Painters take on the No. 1 seed Bay Area Dragons.
Nevertheless, the Elasto Painters may enjoy what Guiao described as a crucial component of the team’s effort to restore lost glory while the Dragons wait.
Guiao feels proud of the crucial victory over his former squad.
For Rain or Shine, which was supported by co-team owners Raymund Yu and Terry Que in a rare appearance at the Pasig venue formerly known as ULTRA, rookie Gian Mamuyac scored 15 points.
Import Ryan Pearson finished with 24 points and nine rebounds, Caracut added 19 on 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc and seven rebounds, and Caracut added 19 points and seven rebounds.
Earl Clark, a foreign player for NLEX, contributed 37 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 assists. Justin Chua scored all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter, including the layup that knotted the score for the final time at 87.
The Elasto Painters later pieced the game’s pivotal run together.
Don Trollano, who had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Kevin Alas, who had 13 points and eight rebounds, both missed double-doubles due to the NLEX defeat.
Rain or Shine (110) – Pearson 24, Caracut 19, Nieto 12, Santillan 11, Nambatac 10, Borboran 10, Mamuyac 7, Asistio 5, Norwood 3, Ponferrada 1, Ildefonso 0, Torres 0.
NLEX (100) – Clark 37, Trollano 15, Alas 13, Chua 12, Ganuelas-Rosser 9, Nieto 6, Miranda 3, Varilla 2, Rosales 0.
Quarter scores: 31-27; 51-43; 80-75; 110-100.