THE hot streak continued for Rain or Shine as it caught a big fish, dealing erstwhile league-leading Star its first loss, 92-88, to earn its third straight win and ascend further in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum yesterday.
J’Nathan Bullock led the way for the Painters with 18 points and five assists, but Raymund Almazan’s return also produced a double-double of 13 points, on 6-of-10 shooting, to go with 14 rebounds to further help the squad’s cause.
The win moved Rain or Shine in the upper echelon as it improved to 4-2, while Star slipped to a second-place tie as it fell to 4-1 after tasting its first setback.
Through a solid surge at the end of the second frame, Rain or Shine created a much-needed separation.
The Elasto Painters took a 41-30 double-digit advantage into the second half.
They continued the pounding in the third, opening the second half with a 11-2 run to establish a gigantic 52-32 lead with over seven minutes to go in the period for more leverage.
A 9-0 run by Star midway in the fourth raised its hopes as it inched within just three, 72-75, after an Ian Sangalang basket with 5:23 left.
But the determined Elasto Painters kept their poise and countered with a 9-2 run of their own to push their lead back to twin-digits, 84-74, after Jericho Cruz’s triple with exactly three minutes remaining.
They never looked back as they held off the Hotshots to secure triumph.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer (3-1) is currently battling NLEX (5-2) in a marquee match-up of teams in the upper half as of this press report.
RAIN OR SHINE 92 – Bullock 18, Cruz 18, Norwood 15, Almazan 13, Ahanmisi 10, Matias 5, Borboran 5, Daquioag 5, Tiu 3, Ponferada 0, Yap 0, Maiquez 0, Trollano 0.
STAR 88 – Hill 26, Lee 17, Sangalang 11, Maliksi 10, Jalalon 8, Barroca 4, Ramos 4, Simon 3, Melton 3, Reavis 2, Brondial 0, Pingris 0, Dela Rosa 0.
Quarters: 15-15, 41-30, 68-56, 92-88.
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