Rain or Shine keeps bid for outright semis alive after Meralco win
Rain or Shine found its bearings late and snared a 97-87 victory against Meralco Wednesday in the 2016 Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jeff Chan sizzled with 24 points and eight rebounds to keep Rain or Shine fighting for the top two spots with its 8-2 card.
Raymond Almazan, meanwhile, had a double-double of 21 markers and 17 rebounds, while Jericho Cruz finished with 13.
“We had to bleed for this one. This is a big game for us to keep our chances alive for outright semis,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, as the Elasto Painters battled back from a 10-point deficit in the first half. “We have one more game on Saturday and that’s going to be like a playoff game for us.”
Rain or Shine will wrap up its eliminations assignment against NLEX, as the E-Painters vie for the automatic semifinals berth against Alaska and San Miguel.
After Jimmy Alapag brought Meralco to within one, 81-80, with under four minutes left, Rain or Shine answered with a 9-3 blast behind Chan and Almazan to put the E-Painters up for good, 90-83, with 1:28 left.
Chan then delivered the dagger three with 38.0 ticks remaining to put the game away, 92-85.
It was another unfortunate finish for Meralco, which exited the tournament at the cellar with a 1-10 record.
Jared Dillinger led the Bolts with 15 points, while Baser Amer got 13 markers and five rebounds.
RAIN OR SHINE 97 – Chan 24, Almazan 21, Cruz 13, Belga 9, Norwood 8, Quinahan 5, Ahanmisi 4, Ponferrada 4, Teng 3, Ibanes 2, Matias 2, Trollano 2, Tiu 0.
MERALCO 87 – Dillinger 15, Amer 13, Newsome 12, Alapag 10, Nabong 9, Hodge 8, Hugnatan 8, Buenafe 7, Al-Hussaini 5, David 0, Faundo 0.
Quarters: 23-22, 42-49, 67-66, 97-87.