RAIN or Shine went on an early vacation but not after creating some noise in the PBA Governors’ Cup last night.
The Elasto Painters exploded in the third quarter and sustained the momentum which eventually carried them to a 107-101 spanking of NLEX in the first of two featured matches in Petron Blaze Saturday Special at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Chris Tiu spewed steady fires as he tallied a career-high 30 points, but it was Norbert Torres, Gabe Norwood, James Yap and Dexter Maiquez who delivered key hits in the third period when the Painters outscored the Road Warriors, 34-23.
The Painters then gamely protected their lead in the fourth, where they even padded it to as many as 97-78, following a 10-0 blast capped by Tiu’s triple, with 7:36 remaining.
In halting their four-game slump, the Painters clinched their third win in 11 outings to close out their campaign in the season on a bright note.
The Road Warriors, who defeated Alaska last Oct. 26, 116-110, on the other hand, tumbled to their sixth loss in 11 games. They stayed at number 7 nevertheless, although they failed to secure the momentum they would need going into the playoff round.
The Painters played catch-up in the early goings, as they simply could not seem to match the Road Warriors’ intensity on both ends of the court. They finally seized the momentum in the third period as the Road Warriors started to sputter.
The Road Warriors trailed at the onset of the game, 11-4, but soon caught fire, unleashing an offensive highlighted with seven triples, including a rare four-point play made by Bong Galanza.
By the end of the first 12 minutes, the Road Warriors were already enjoying a 31-17 lead which they stretched to as many as 48-32 on Fuller’s two free throws with a good 4:50 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
But the faster the Road Warriors built their lead, the faster they sputtered in both ends – a situation the Elasto Painters took advantage of.
With the Road Warriors’ offense going in tatters coupled with crumbling defense, the Painters took no time to launch their attack anchored on Jewel Ponferrada, Chris Tiu and Sidney Onwubere.
The trio combined for a swift 14-to-nothing RoS onslaught ignited by Ponferrada’s drive and highlighted by Onwubere’s triple, enabling the Painters to narrow the gap at 48-46.
Rain or Shine (107) - Tiu 30, Ponferada 13, Torres 12, Maiquez 12, Nambatac 10, Yap 8, Norwood 8, Daquioag 6, Onwubere 5, Borboran 3, Washington 0, Casino 0.
NLEX (101) - Fuller 29, Galanza 14, Miranda 12, Paniamogan 11, Taulava 9, Fonacier 8, Tiongson 5, Mallari 4, Quinahan 3, Rios 3, Monfort 3, Ighalo 0, Baguio 0, Marcelo 0, Tallo 0.
Quarterscores: 17-31, 46-51, 82-74, 107-101.