Rain or Shine gave new coach Chris Gavina a win in his first game after holding off NLEX, 83-82, in a thrilling PBA Philippine Cup duel held Friday, July 16 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Elasto Painters almost saw victory taken away after Kiefer Ravena forced Gabe Norwood to a turnover, giving the Road Warriors a chance to take the lead in the final seconds.
Ravena found Anthony Semerad for a chance to win it for NLEX, but missed a jumper when he took a double-pump attempt from about 13 feet off Javee Mocon in the dying seconds.
“Great effort from both sides. NLEX really fought every inch but I’m glad that our guys were resolute enough to trust our system, trust one another and come out with a big first win for this opening conference,” said Gavina.
Rey Nambatac topscored for the Elasto Painters with 19 points while Beau Belga had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
ROS trailed by a high of nine, 47-38, early in the third quarter but made an 18-point turnaround to hold its own nine-point advantage, 72-63, in the payoff period.
A Norbert Torres triple with under five minutes left in the fourth gave ROS the lead for good at 79-77 and held a pair of four-point margins late in the contest before avoiding a collapse.
Ravena finished with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting with four rebounds, seven assists and three steals in his first game since the much-talked signing with Japanese club Shiga Lakestars which the league prohibited due to his live pact with the Road Warriors.
His three put NLEX behind 83-82 with 17.2 seconds left before forcing Norwood, who was trapped on the corner, to turn the ball over that led to the ending.
RAIN OR SHINE 83 — Nambatac 19, Belga 17, Mocon 12, Ponferada 10, Norwood 8, Asistio 6, Torres 5, Santillan 4, Borboran 2, Guinto 0, Wong 0, Caracut 0.
NLEX 82 — Ravena 23, Alas 13, Trollano 11, Cruz 10, Soyud 6, Semerad 6, Miranda 5, Quinahan 5, Porter 2, Oftana 1, Paniamogan 0.
Quarters: 26-26, 38-43, 69-63, 83-82.