Beau Belga had the last laugh with a stirring performance Tuesday night as Rain or Shine grinded out an 85-82 overtime win over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Belga scored five of his 20 points in the five-minute extension, a follow-up after missing a layup and a three-pointer that gave the Elasto Painters an 83-78 lead, and added 10 rebounds and four assists as the Elasto Painters pulled out a win while handing the Kings a second straight loss following a 4-0 start.
But Rain or Shine needed one lucky break to secure its fourth win in five games inside the bubble known as Smart Clark Giga City after Ginebra cut the deficit to 83-80.
Jewel Ponferada retrieved the ball after Rey Nambatac slipped before hitting a running one-hander for his only points with five seconds to go to make it an 85-80 lead for the Elasto Painters.
Rain or Shine bounced back after falling short against Alaska, 89-88, last week while needing an extra day of rest when Sunday’s game with Blackwater was cancelled due after one of the Elite’s players initially tested positive for COVID-19.
No one motivated coming into the game more than Belga, who was out to prove something after seeing a social media comment earlier in the day.
“May isang hater na binatikos ako sa social media na puro pananakit lang daw ginagawa ko sa PBA and I just to prove him wrong,” Belga said during a postgame interview on One Sports.
Coach Caloy Garcia was also glad that Belga was not the only player to step up for the Elasto Painters.
Mark Borboran scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds while James Yap earned a starting role and produced a season-high 13 points.
Nambatac only had eight points, but produced one of the game’s biggest shot with a three-pointer that tied the knot at 76-all with 2.1 seconds to go in regulation.
Kris Rosales also scored all of his eight points in the first quarter that saw Rain or Shine take a 24-15 lead and forced Ginebra to play catch up throughout.
Ginebra had to slowly inch its way back from being down 39-24 in the second behind Stanley Pringle and Scottie Thompson.
Pringle’s jumper put the Kings ahead, 74-73, with over two minutes remaining in the fourth before Borboran missed two free throws and Gabe Norwood muffing a medium-range jumper.
LA Tenorio got fouled and made a pair of charities for a three-point Ginebra lead before Nambatac continued his knack to have the ball in the clutch with the game-tying triple on the next play.
Thompson finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks and Pringle had 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists but Ginebra couldn’t recover from Sunday’s loss to sibling rival Magnolia.
RAIN OR SHINE 85 — Belga 20, Borboran 13, Yap 12, Nambatac 8, Rosales 8, Onwubere 3, Norwood 3, Ponferada 2, Wong 0, Torres 0.
GINEBRA 82 — Thompson 21, Pringle 20, Aguilar J. 13, Tenorio 10, Devance 6, Caperal 5, Mariano 3, Chan 2, Dillinger 2, Tolentino 0.
Quarters: 24-15, 45-36, 61-57, 76-76 (Reg), 85-82 (OT).