Rain or Shine snapped a three-game losing run and stayed inside the quarterfinal race after beating Blackwater, 82-71, yesterday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Sixteen hours removed from a stinging loss to the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok, the Elasto Painters buckled down to work and leaned on a third quarter breakaway to secure a win for the first time since the elimination round resumed last Tuesday.
The Elasto Painters improved to 5-4, one game clear of the NLEX Road Warriors (4-5) in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot.
“Sabi ko nga sa kanila ang nawala sa amin is yung enjoyment of the game after that break,” said coach Caloy Garcia, whose team fell to NLEX (94-74), Meralco (85-78) and Magnolia (70-62).
“After our loss against NLEX, medyo nagkaroon siguro kami ng konting doubts and I told them that we have to grind it out in these last few games because it’s compounding us,” he added.
But the win was dampened a bit after Rey Nambatac sprained his right ankle during the first quarter and was forced to watched the rest of the game from the sidelines.
Javee Mocon got his form back and produced 19 points on 9-of-18 shooting with 13 rebounds to key the Elasto Painters’ triumph. The sophomore forward struggled during the skid with an average of 4.3 points on a 4-of-29 clip.
Beau Belga added 14 points, including six in the third where in Rain or Shine pulled away from Blackwater. The Elasto Painters came from the break with a 38-34 lead but zoomed to a 15-1 run that ended on back-to-back threes by Belga for 53-38, over six minutes remaining in the quarter.
Rain or Shine stretched the lead to 20 points as veteran Ryan Arana scored four to make it 57-37.
Mac Belo had 15 points while KG Canaleta and Roi Sumang added 11 points apiece but Blackwater lost for the sixth straight time, dropping to 2-7.
The result eliminated the Elite, NorthPort Batang Pier and Terrafirma Dyip from playoff contention.
RAIN OR SHINE 82 — Mocon 19, Belga 14, Doliguez 8, Arana 8, Borboran 7, Norwood 7, Nambatac 5, Wong 5, Onwubere 5, Torres 4, Ponferada 0, Toleintino 0, Rosales 0, Rivero 0.
BLACKWATER 71 — Belo 15, Sumang 11, Canaleta 11, Escoto 10, Tolomia 4, Gabriel 4, Dennison 3, Salem 3, Dario 3, Daquioag 2, Golla 2, Magat 2, Trollano 1, Shaw 0.
Quarters: 16-20, 38-34, 63-45, 82-71.