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Gutsy Rain or Shine keeps San Miguel winless with OT win

/ 10:09 PM May 13, 2018

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

ANTIPOLO — Rain or Shine bounced back with a thrilling 121-115 overtime victory over defending champion San Miguel Beer in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at Ynares Center here.

Raymond Almazan carried Rain or Shine in the extra period, where he uncorked eight of his career-high-tying 25 points. He wound up with a double-double after hauling down 14 rebounds.

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“The effort of the players, they showed their character today,” said a jubilant ROS coach Caloy Garcia as Rain or Shine redeemed itself after dropping a 96-104 decision to Columbian Dyip last Wednesday.

“It was a test of character for both teams, and luckily we were able to pull this win.”

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Elasto Painters import Reggie Johnson was also too much to handle for the Beermen, finishing with 27 points, 19 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.

Johnson’s presence down low was a big problem for San Miguel Beer after its MVP center June Mar Fajardo and lanky forward Arwind Santos fouled out in the crucial stages.

San Miguel also had to play all-Filipino for majority of the game after its import Troy Gillenwater got ejected after bumping referee Rey Yante at the 2:29 mark of the second quarter.

The guards also made significant contributions for Rain or Shine.

Chris Tiu collected 16 points on 3-of-6 shooting from three, three rebounds and six assists, Maverick Ahanmisi also had 16 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals, while Gabe Norwood had 15 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.

Fighting back from 17-points down, 68-51 in the third quarter, the Elasto Painters had a chance to seal the game shut in the final 18.4 seconds, but Tiu uncharacteristically split from the line and kept the window open for the Beermen, 112-110.

Alex Cabagnot then, swooped in for the layup to tie the game at 112 with 11.4 ticks remaining. San Miguel almost stole the win at the end of regulation after forcing a stop on a Gabe Norwood inbound, but Chris Ross missed a triple that paved way for OT.

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But it was a whole different story for the Beermen in the additional five minutes, going scoreless in the first two and a half minutes as Rain or Shine raced to a 118-112 lead as it banked on Almazan’s cool free throw shooting to nab the victory.

Rain or Shine improved to 4-1 to gain solo leadership early in the conference, while sending powerhouse San Miguel to its first 0-2 start in three seasons.

Santos paced the Beermen with 29 points on 6-of-13 shooting from three, alongside nine rebounds, four assists and five blocks while Fajardo got 26 points and 11 rebounds in a foul-plagued outing.

Marcio Lassiter also poured 18 points and five assists, while Christian Standhardinger had his best game to date with 17 points and 15 rebounds.

The scores:

RAIN OR SHINE 123 — Johnson 27, Almazan 25, Ahanmisi 16, Tiu 16, Norwood 15, Daquioag 7, Torres 5, Washington 5, Ponferada 4, Yap 3, Belga 0, Onwubere 0.

SAN MIGUEL 119 — Santos 29, Fajardo 26, Lassiter 18, Standhardinger 17, Cabagnot 14, Gillenwater 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Ross 2, Espinas 0.

Quarters: 30-23, 49-63, 84-90, 112-112, 123-119.

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TAGS: 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup, June Mar Fajardo, PBA, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, San Miguel Beermen, Troy Gillenwater
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