BRUNO Sundov caught fire early in the third quarter, fueling Rain or Shine’s wire-to-wire 106-97 victory over Barako Bull at Smart Araneta Coliseum last night and assure the Elasto Painters of at least a playoff for the second twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The 7-foot-3 import poured 10 of his 25 in the third quarter, joining forces with Ryan Araña as the Painters ripped the game apart on their way to a ninth win in 13 games.
Araña sparkled with 18 points off the bench for the Elasto Painters, who have one more game against Meralco on Wednesday. Rain or Shine, however, can secure the No. 2 seed if Petron loses to Air 21 tonight.
Alaska already clinched the No. 1 seed even before last night’s schedule, but the Aces, playing without stars Cyrus Baguio and Sonny Thoss rallied past Globalport, 93-92, in the first game.
Sundov hit back-to-back treys to spark the early run that pushed the lead to 23 points in the third period, outplaying DJ Mbenga, who finished with only nine points in just 23 minutes.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao was delighted at the way his team finished the game, after surrendering a 20-point lead in the overtime loss to Alaska last week.
“We were able to push the pace just like what we planned to do,” said coach Yeng Guiao. “We didn’t want to make the same mistake we had against Alaska.”
The Aces again displayed their resiliency, climbing out of a 15-point hole in the third quarter by outscoring the Batang Pier, 32-5 in an 11-minute stretch. Alaska wrapped up its elimination-round campaign with an 11-3 record.
ALASKA 93—Dozier 18, Abueva 17, Jazul 14, Casio 11, Hontiveros 11, Espinas 8, Dela Cruz 8, Belasco 4, Ramos 2, Reyes 0, Eman 0, Laure 0.
GLOBALPORT 92—David 29, Morgan 17, Lingganay 8, Belencion 7, Juntilla 7, Aljamal 7, Aguilar 5, Miller 5, Salvador 4, Deutchman 3, Mandani 0, Yee 0.
Quarters: 22-18, 45-46, 66-72, 93-92
RAIN OR SHINE 106—Sundov 25, Lee 19, Araña 18, Tiu 12, Cruz 7, Matias 6, Norwood 4, Chan 4, Rodriguez 4, Belga 3, Jaime 2, Quiñahan 2, Tang 0, Ibañes 0.
BARAKO BULL 97—Seigle 19, Pennisi 17, Urbiztondo 12, Maliksi 10, Mbenga 9, Macapagal 8, Intal 6, Monfort 5, Anthony 5, Kramer 4, Cruz 2, Duncil 0.
Quarters: 26-14; 48-38; 84-67, 106-97