Rain or Shine rode a 17-0 run into the final minute of the match and forged a 91-82 victory over Meralco for its first win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup during an out-of-town match yesterday in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
The Painters trailed by five going into the bottom half of the fourth, but three-pointers from Paul Lee and Ronnie Matias kicked off that key run that gave them a 91-79 edge going into the final minute.
Rain or Shine evened its record to 1-1 as it drew huge games from Bruno Sundov and Ryan Araña. Meralco dropped to 1-2.
Meanwhile, unheralded workhorses Robert Dozier—who wasn’t even Alaska’s first choice—and Evan Brock—who Barako Bull coach Rajko Toroman once said rock could have the worst stats in the tournament—cross paths as they try to steer their respective clubs to the solo lead of the tournament.
The Aces and Energy collide at 4:15 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum hoping to keep their unbeaten run.
Petron Blaze, back to its old self after destroying San Mig Coffee last week, sets out in the 6:30 p.m. contest seeking to extend Barangay Ginebra’s miseries.
Dozier cemented his slot in the Alaska roster last Wednesday when he went up against—and outplayed—the Aces’ first import choice Eric Dawson in an impressive 85-81 victory over Meralco, piling up 27 points that went with 14 rebounds and six blocks.
“His versatility is amazing,” coach Luigi Trillo said of Dozier.
Brock, on the other hand, may have been fired up by Toroman’s statement and took over scoring for the Energy with 25 points in a come-from-behind decision of Globalport last week.
Meanwhile, Ginebra will play its final game with Herbert Hill and the Gin Kings will be hard-pressed to snap a two-game slide against a Petron side that is now humming on all cylinders.
Vernon Macklin will replace Hill, but won’t arrive until late tonight.
RAIN OR SHINE 91—Sundov 20, Araña 20, Norwood 10, Lee 9, Matias 9, Quiñahan 7, Cruz 5, Tiu 4, Ibañes 0, Rodriguez 0.
MERALCO 82—Dawson 23, Cardona 21, Guevarra 8, Reyes 6, Ross 6, Buenafe 6, Manuel 6, Hodge 2, Hugnatan 2, Sharma 2, Artadi 0.
Quarters: 22-23, 43-45, 66-65, 91-82