Rain or Shine forced NorthPort to tie a record for futility, then leaned on another late heroics from Rey Nambatac to escape with a 70-68 win Sunday night and stay unbeaten in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
The Elasto Painters held the Batang Pier to just two points in the third quarter to overcome a 13-point deficit before making up for squandering the lead in the fourth when Nambatac sank two foul shots off a questionable foul from Paolo Taha with 1.3 seconds left to claim their third consecutive win.
“It was really an ugly win for us,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia, whose team joined TNT on top of the team standings. “I want a better game for us, better production from everybody. It’s just an ugly game for us and I think we can do better.”
Garcia’s team shot 29.4 percent from the field, tied for ninth lowest for a team that won.
But the Elasto Painters were able to make the Batang Pier join the 2001 Mobiline Phone Pals and 2003 Barangay Ginebra Kings in scoring the lowest points scored in a quarter.
Mobiline was the first to set the dubious record in the first quarter of a 71-69 loss to Sta. Lucia on Feb. 28, 2001 before Ginebra equaled the mark during the third quarter of an 83-54 defeat to Coca-Cola on April 26, 2003.
NorthPort’s only basket in the third came at the midway point of the period on a basket by Sean Anthony. But the Batang Pier missed their other 20 attempts that enabled the Elasto Painters to turn a 38-32 halftime deficit into a 46-40 lead heading into the fourth.
ROS built its largest lead at 11 points as rookie Adrian Wong drained a triple to make it 63-52, over five minutes to go, only for NorthPort to come back led by Kelly Nabong and Christian Standhardinger.
The two combined for 15 in the fourth, with Standhardinger tying the game at 68-all on a basket with 3.3 seconds remaining.
NorthPort’s rally fell short, however, as Nambatac drew a foul on Taha on the ensuing play, much to the chagrin of NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio who felt otherwise.
Wong scored a season-high 15 points while Sidney Onwubere had his best game inside the bubble with 11 points and five rebounds for the Elasto Painters.
Anthony, Standhardinger and Garvo Lanete scored 13 points apiece for the Batang Pier.
RAIN OR SHINE 70 — Wong 15, Onwubere 11, Nambatac 10, Mocon 6, Doliguez 6, Belga 5, Yap 5, Torres 5, Arana 3, Norwood 2, Ponferada 2, Rosales 0, Rivero 0, Borboran 0.
NORTHPORT 68 — Anthony 13, Standhardinger 13, Lanete 13, Nabong 10, Revilla 7, Taha 4, Manganti 3, Cruz 3, Elorde 2, Subido 0, Guinto 0.
Quarters: 14-25, 32-38, 46-40, 70-68.