Rain or Shine, NLEX stay in playoff contention

Rey Nambatac of Rain or Shine goes strong to the basket against Blackwater’s Cameron Krutwig

RAIN OR SHINE put up a great second half act to blast Blackwater, 116-97, and keep its blinking playoff bid alive on Friday in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. 

After leading by 51-45 at halftime, the Elasto Painters outscored the Bossing in the second half, 65-52, to improve their win-loss record to 5-6, tying Phoenix Super LPG in the seventh and eighth spot with only a game left in the elimination round. 

Rey Nambatac, who fired 21 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists, felt motivated against the Bossing who were already eliminated with 3-9 slate after the elimination round.

“Whatever happens in this game, I really need to step up and deliver,” Nambatac said. “That’s the only way I can pay coach Yeng Guiao’s trust and confidence.”

Import Ryan Pearson led Rain or Shine with 22 points, 12 rebounds and issued five assists plus two steals, while Anton Asistio tallied 13 points and six assists and Norbert Torres had also 13 points for the Elasto Painters.

“Our import [Ryan Pearson] is getting better each game and becoming more efficient,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said. “He is rebounding better and he already knew his teammates well. Now, we will be having one week to prepare against Magnolia.”

Import Cameron Krutwig played his last game with Blackwater with 23 points, 17 rebounds and four assists while rookie Jollo Go made a season-high 18 points. 

Rain or Shine established its widest advantage in the middle of third period, 101-80, and didn’t look back.

Defense proved to be the major factor for Rain or Shine, as it forced Blackwater to 19 turnovers resulting in 21 points. The Elasto Painters just committed eight errors throughout the game, and issued 31 assists against 12 of the Bossing. 

Meanwhile, NLEX spoiled Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s twice-to-beat top two bid with a 120-117 overtime win behind the big time scoring tandem of Earl Clark and Don Trollano.

Clark produced 37 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists while Don Trollano had 26 points and Kevin Alas made 18 points and nine assists to bounce back from last week’s humiliating 114-124 overtime loss to erstwhile winless Terrafirma squad.

NLEX improved to 4-7 record after snapping a five-game losing skid while the Gin Kings fell to 7-3 record. Ginebra though has still a chance to get the last twice-to-beat bonus if Magnolia (8-2) will lose one of its two remaining games. 


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