GABE Norwood and rookie Chris Tiu bailed out Rain or Shine from a huge collapse last night, keying a 103-95 decision of Globalport as the Elasto Painters nailed a fifth straight win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The duo hit big shot after big shot in the stretch as the Painters survived the loss of a 20-point third-quarter lead to rise to 5-1 and deal the Batang Pier a fourth straight loss in a 2-5 card.
“We really got a scare in the second half,” said coach Yeng Guiao, who again had a lot of things to say about officiating. “We kind of relaxed when we got a big lead. We’re lucky that their import didn’t really make that much of a contribution.”
Norwood scored 11 points and Tiu had 10 of his career-high 16 in the fourth quarter as the Painters found little use again for import Bruno Sundov, who sat most of the last period because of foul trouble.
From a 55-35 lead early in the third, the Painters found themselves in a nip-and-tuck game in the fourth, even trailing, 88-89 with just over four minutes left after a Gary David triple.
Norwood then hit a triple that came after a Jervy Cruz bucket and, after the Batang Pier came within one again courtesy of a Will Antonio trey, Globalport hastened its own demise with several ill-advised plays, the biggest of which was when David tried to finish a 1-on-3 break with a three-point shot.
Tiu, the seventh overall pick in the last Draft, then hit his third and last trey and Cruz had another jumper from deep left corner that sandwiched a key Sol Mercado error for 98-92 with 37.3 seconds to go.
Norwood and Tiu then polished off Globalport by hitting the Painters’ last five points.
There were six players, led by David’s 23 points, who scored in twin digits for Globalport, excluding import Justin Williams, whom coach Junel Baculi kept on the bench in the final 17 minutes.
Williams will be replaced by Walter Sharpe, a Chinese league veteran who saw action in a few games for Detroit in the NBA. He is set to arrive just in time for the Batang Pier’s game against Air21 tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Talk ‘N Text welcomes back Donnell Harvey today when the Tropang Texters, the losing finalists here last season, slug it out with slumping Barako Bull in a road game presented by Phoenix Fuels at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Legazpi City.
Sundov still finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds, but it was the all-Filipino crew that again pulled it out for the Painters.
RAIN OR SHINE 103—Sundov 17, Tiu 16, Cruz 15, Norwood 13, Ibanes 9, Quinahan 7, Matias 6, Tang 6, Rodriguez 6, Lee 5, Belga 3, Arana 0.
GLOBALPORT 95—David 23, Mercado 18, Miller 13, Salvador 11, Aguilar 10, Antonio 10, Williams 6, Lingganay 2, Yee 2, Belencion 0, Crisano 0.
Quarters: 23-17, 52-35, 73-69, 103-95