Back on track
LUCENA—Rain or Shine finally won one by hosing down the hottest team in the PBA Governors’ Cup, and its 104-97 victory over Barangay Ginebra in a Petron Saturday Special put the Elasto Painters back on track toward making it past the elimination round.
Terrence Watson scored 29 points and added 19 rebounds and six blocks in a dominating game at Quezon Convention Center here as Rain or Shine won for the first time in five games and snapped Ginebra’s four-game winning streak to take the Gin Kings out of the lead.
“We played perfect defense for the first time [in the conference],” Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia said. “That’s the only way for any team to beat Ginebra.”
Rain or Shine, after representing the Philippines in the Asian Games in Jakarta in August, has played the least game among the 12 teams here and with six games to go, would need nothing less than a sweep to assure itself of advancing in the upper half of the draw.
The Painters are still out of the magic circle of eight teams that will march on, and Garcia wants the team to take things one game at a time, starting with NorthPort next week.
“NorthPort needs to win [to also stay alive] and we also need to win,” Garcia said. “So that will be a good game.”
Rain or Shine scored 14 unanswered points in one critical point of the third quarter to pull away and, this time, Ginebra’s vaunted never-say-die spirit couldn’t save the Gin Kings from losing for the first time in their last five games.
Justin Brownlee scattered 23 points, LA Tenorio had 15 and Aljon Mariano 14 for the Kings, whose cornerstone, the 7-foot Greg Slaughter finally suited up but did not see action.
With a 7-2 card, Ginebra yielded the lead to idle Magnolia, which is at 6-1 and can improve on that Sunday night when the Hotshots clash with Alaska at 6:45 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
NLEX and Meralco, sister teams trying to avoid the ax and snap losing streaks, clash in the 4:30 p.m. curtain-raiser in the Cubao venue.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer import Kevin Murphy and Phoenix Petroleum forward Calvin Abueva have been summoned to appear before commissioner Willie Marcial next week to air their sides on the commotion that almost triggered a free-for-all on Friday night.
Murphy grappled Abueva by the neck with 4:11 left and the outcome all but decided, but it didn’t end there as the coaches and staff of both teams got into a shouting match because of the incident.
Abueva was also seen on television scratching his head using his middle finger, something which will not escape Marcial’s scrutiny.