Painters log key win vs Aces; Elite score
Rain or Shine came from behind to nip Alaska, 111-105, at Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday night to greatly enhance its chances of an outright Final Four slot in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup.
Belga scored six of his team-high 17 points and Gabe Norwood eight of his 11 in the final frame as the Elasto Painters improved to 7-2 and dragged the Aces into a second place tie going into the last seven elimination round playdates.
And with the Aces still to battle tournament leader San Miguel Beer next week, the Painters seem to have a slight advantage considering that they would close out their elimination schedule against NLEX and Meralco.
A San Miguel win over the Aces would give the Beermen one of two available automatic semifinal berths, and if Rain or Shine sweeps its last two, it would join the Beermen in a much-needed break.
Rain or Shine bounced back mightily from a listless effort against the Tropang Texters, doing it without superstar point guard Paul Lee.
“We are playing well without him (Lee). We might not need him anymore,” coach Yeng Guiao said in jest.
Carlo Lastimosa shot 17 of his career-high 38 points in the fourth periodas Blackwater crushed Barako Bull, 116-92, to move within another victory of a playoff slot.
In rising to 2-7, the Elite put themselves in the mix for a playoff berth, something which they failed to come close to in three conferences in their maiden season.
Barako Bull played without RR Garcia for the first time because of a dislocated right shoulder, and the Energy were never in it right from the beginning. They trailed by as large as 24 in the first three periods to go down to 4-5.
BLACKWATER 116—Lastimosa 38, Dela Cruz 21, Gamalinda 15, Cortez 9, Golla 9, Erram 6, Reyes 5, Cervantes 4, Sena 4, Vosotros 3, Canada 2, Agovida 0, Ballesteros 0.
BARAKO BULL 92—Wilson 23, Urbiztondo 17, Fortuna 13, Pennisi 10, Lanete 6, Brondial 5, Forrester 4, Intal 4, Monfort 4, Baracael 2, Caperal 2, Miranda 2, Sorongon 0.
Quarters: 26-12, 56-37, 81-66, 116-92
RAIN OR SHINE 111—Belga 17, Almazan 13, Cruz 13, Chan 12, Quiñahan 12, Trollano 12, Norwood 11, Ponferada 8, Ahanmisi 7, Tiu 4, Nimes 2, Ibañes 0, Matias 0, Teng 0.
ALASKA 105—Manuel 24, Baguio 14, Abueva 10, Hontiveros 9, Menk 9, dela Cruz 8, Jazul 8, Casio 7, Banchero 6, Thoss 6, Baclao 2, dela Rosa 2, Exciminiano 0, Racal 0.
Quarters: 32-28, 64-56, 81-81, 111-105.
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